A S l A â€™ S L E A D l N G m aga z l ne f o r t h e p las t l c s and r u b b e r l nd u s t r y
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In this issue
Volume 31, No 225
publlshed slnce 1985
A S l A’ S L E A D l N G m aga z l ne f o r the plastlcs and rubber lndustry
Features 焦 點 內 容 14 材料新聞: 安全包裝的處方 18 Front Cover Feature – Making its debut at the K2016 show is Arlanxeo, the joint venture company of Lanxess and Saudi Aramco. The new “face” in the synthetic rubber arena delivers a diverse range of synthetic rubbers focusing on mobility, leisure and green sectors at its Booth: 6C78
22 Technology/Machinery at K2016 – This year’s edition of K2016, held from 19-26 October in Düsseldorf, Germany, presents an extensive array of new technologies and machineries
36 Carbon nanotubes – Environmental-friendly nanomaterials, hailed as the strongest, lightest and most conductive of materials, CNTs are gaining wider industry adoption in aerospace, transistor and flexible electronics applications
39 Country Focus – Indonesia’s sizeable population is a high-scorer with
Publisher Arthur Schavemaker Tel: +31 547 275005 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Associate Publisher/Editor Tej Fernandez Tel: +60 3 4260 4575 Email: email@example.com Editorial/Production Coordinator Angelica Buan Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Chinese Editor Koh Bee Ling Circulation Abril Castro Email: email@example.com
investors seeking growth markets in Asia, as indicated by exhibitors at the recent Indoplas/Indoprint show in Jakarta, Indonesia
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Regulars 概 要
2 Industry News
6 Materials News
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MCI (P) 127/08/2016 Printer United Mission Press
Supplements 副 刊 A round-up of machinery/technology on display at K2016 from main exhibitors Tyre makers are taking steps to develop renewable biorubber to meet their needs, and subsequently curb land conversions that are reserved
On the Cover DIGITAL+PRINT
A S l A’ S L E A D l N G M A G A Z l N E F O R THE PLASTlCS AND RUBBER lNDUSTRY
Automotive OEMs have to meet stringent requirements for fuel economy and grip, which can only be met by using materials designed to improve the dynamic properties of tyres. Thus, Arlanxeo will be introducing a newly developed technology for the production of functionalised solution rubbers at K2016 at its Booth: 6C78
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M&As/Investments • Chinaust Group, a 50:50 joint venture between GF Piping Systems and Lingyun Industrial, has acquired two Chinese companies: Shuchang Auto Part and Lingyun Jingran Gas Valve. Shuchang Auto Part manufactures quick connectors for automotive fuel lines. Lingyun Jingran Gas Valve specialises in polyethylene ball valves for gas distribution networks. Together, they generated sales of CHF20 million in 2015 and have a workforce of 200 employees. The privately-owned companies are located in Langfang, Hebei. • US-based private equity firm Platinum Equity is to acquire the Foam Plastic Solutions (FPS) and Flow Control Devices (FCD) businesses of Singaporeheadquartered Broadway Industrial Group. FPS supplies protective packaging, insulation and component products to the consumer electronics, automotive, medical and other endmarkets. FCD supplies high-performance parts such as valves, fittings, sensors, and related components used in diverse endapplications. • US bioplastics maker Metabolix is selling its 2
biopolymer intellectual property and certain laboratory equipment to South Korea’s agriculture/food firm CJ CheilJedang Corporation for US$10 million. In March this year, Metabolix said it was entering into an agreement with CJ to produce and operate a 10-kilotonne polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) production unit at CJ’s Iowa facility, based on Metabolix’s PHA technology. • Australia’s largest rigid packaging maker Pact Group Holdings is closely trailing compatriot Australian packaging manufacturer Amcor in its acquisitions. Pact is acquiring speciality co-manufacturer Australian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (APM) for A$90 million. APM is one of the largest providers of manufacturing and packaging services for nutraceuticals in Australia. The acquisition of APM is a further step in the group’s strategy to expand in specialised co-manufacturing. It compliments and extends Pact’s existing position established through the acquisition of Jalco in 2015. • US flame retardant solutions provider FRX Polymers has secured US$22 million in Series D equity-financing
lead by state-owned investment firm CITIC Capital, based in Beijing. Other parties participating in the financing were FRX Polymers’ current shareholders including PMV Tina Fund, Capricorn Venture Partners, FXP Holdings, Evonik Venture Capital, Mubadala Capital, RobecoSam, Israel Cleantech Fund, and other stakeholders. The new financing will be used to fund the company’s growth into Asia.
• Italian materials firm RadiciGroup Performance Plastics has acquired the engineering polymers business of American company Invista. With this acquisition, RadiciGroup, which makes nylon, PBT, TPE and POM engineering plastics, will be able to significantly increase its production capacity in the US and in Europe, where Invista currently has two production plants. • Japan’s Teijin Limited is acquiring DuPont Kabushiki Kaisha (40%) interest in Teijin DuPont Films Japan, and DuPont’s 49.9% interest in Indonesia Teijin DuPont Films. Teijin is also acquiring US-based automotive composite supplier Continental Structural Plastics Holdings Corporation (CSP) for US$825 million. CSP is a manufacturer of
thermoset composites and the world’s largest sheet moulding compound (SMC) manufacturer for automotive makers. Meanwhile, Polyplastics’s WinTech Polymer will acquire 40% interest currently owned by Teijin in the joint venture between both companies. WinTech is a producer of thermoplastic polyester resin. The company was originally formed through the merger of the PBT resin business division of Polyplastics and the PBT resin and PET resin business arms of Teijin.
• Germany’s global rigid film producer Klöckner Pentaplast is acquiring Turkey-based Farmamak from for US$46 million. Farmamak is a rigid film producer with a capacity of 56,000 tonnes, sales of EUR47 million and around 230 employees. • Riyadh-headquartered petrochemical firm Sabic is selling its Polymershapes unit to US privatelyowned investment firm Blackfriars Corp. The unit is a noncore business and its divestment is not expected to affect Sabic's distribution of other products or have a substantial impact on its finances, the firm said. Polymershapes is the world’s largest distributor of plastic sheet, rod, tube and
film, serving over 35,000 customers with a distribution network of more than 75 branches in the US, Canada, Mexico and Chile. Blackfriars also owns US semifinished plastic shapes and parts supplier Laird Plastics, which it bought in 2004.
• Billionaire and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is investing in Renmatix, specialising in affordable cellulosic sugars. It has secured a US$14 million investment, led by Bill Gates and French firm Total. Renmatix has developed a process that converts plant
Machinery News • Canadian machine maker Husky Injection Molding Systems’s Ultra Helix 350 valve gate has been expanded. This new series of nozzles is said to provide customers even more options for creating a wider range of applications, producing better quality parts with the longest gate life of any valve gate currently available. Additionally, Ultra Helix nozzles build on Husky’s track record of thermal uniformity and is said to virtually eliminate mechanical wear on the valve stems and cavity steel. • Amcor Rigid Plastics, the US subsidiary of Australia-headquartered packaging giant Amcor, is acquiring Sonoco’s blow moulding business in North America for US$280 million. Sonoco manufactures custom rigid plastic bottles, jars, overcaps and closures for the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, health and beauty, and personal care markets in seven plants located 4
in the US and Canada, with 850 employees. • Indonesian film producer PT Kencar Sukses Investama is expanding its presence in the Southeast Asian film market by adding two more DavisStandard cast film machines to its facility in Sidoarjo, Indonesia. This brings in total to four Davis-Standard machines in just over five years. Kencar was the first company in Southeast Asia to introduce five-layer CPP films, and with the additional DavisStandard machines, will become the first with six-layer capabilities. The cast film machines, slated for installation in January 2017, will be higher speed versions of the original two, with next generation DSB barrier screws. Feedblock and die technology will accommodate up to seven distinct layers in a structure. The “ironing” roll will be included on the
waste and biomass into sugars that can be converted into biofuels and bio-versions of chemicals. Philadelphiabased Renmatix has now raised more than US$140 million from investors, including German chemical giant BASF and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The company
intends to use the funds to commercialise its Plantrose process that will help drive towards the first wave of Renmatix licensees building Plantroseenabled biorefineries in diverse global markets like Canada, India, Malaysia, the US and elsewhere.
winder for consistent roll conformity.
supplier of customised mould release agents and related products for multiple moulding applications. The full product line includes release agents, mould conditioners, cleaners and flushes.
• Ten years ago German extrusion machinery maker Windmöller & Hölscher (W&H) decided to strengthen its presence in the woven PP market by joining forces with Austria-based BSW Machinery that had been founded by Thomas Breitenberger, Peter Schmalholz and Günter Wais. Through transfer of W&H products to BSW and through joint development of a production centre in the Czech republic, BSW was integrated step by step into the W&H Group. Now, the company will operate as Windmöller & Hölscher (W&H) Machinery. • US-based mould release/purging compounds supplier Chem-Trend has acquired the Ultra Purge business from Italy-headquartered Moulds Plus International. ChemTrend has also acquired Huron Technologies, a
• Injection moulding machine maker Engel Austria has opened a new sales and service subsidiary in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to cater to major international electronics companies and OEMs that produce smartphones and tablet PCs in the region and have announced that they will be transferring more production to Vietnam. • US-based manufacturer of sheet extrusion machinery Processing Technologies International (PTi) has broken ground for a US$10 million plant expansion at its Aurora headquarters. The company says it will increase overall plant capacity by 50% by adding 40,000 sq ft of primary manufacturing and office space and up to 40 new jobs.
Capacity Expansions • Ineos Oligomers is building the world’s largest single train polyalphaolefin (PAO) plant. The 120,000 tonnes/year-unit is expected to be operational in the first half of 2019. The company did not say where it would be built. Ineos has also confirmed that it will build a 420,000 tonnes/ year-LAO (Linear Alpha Olefin) unit at Chocolate Bayou, Texas. This unit will provide the raw materials (including up to 85 ktpa of decene-1) used by its PAO units. • Germany-based Evonik Industries has broken ground in Marl, Germany, for a new production plant for speciality polyamide 12 (PA12) powders, increasing annual
capacity by 50%. The new plant is scheduled to come on stream at the end of 2017. • German chemicals firm BASF is setting up an additional production line for Ultrason polyarylsulphone at its site in Yeosu, South Korea. The new line will start up at the end of 2017, adding a production capacity of 6,000 tones/year and bringing BASF’s total capacity of Ultrason to 24,000 tonnes/year. Meanwhile, BASF will gradually reduce capacity of caprolactam by 100,000 to 400,000 tonnes over the next 18 months in Ludwigshafen, Germany, due to the difficult market environment. Caprolactam is the
starting material for polyamide 6. In 2013, BASF had adjusted its production capacity for adipic acid, a precursor for polyamide 6.6, by more than 20% to 210,000 tonnes/year. • French chemicals manufacturer Arkema is expanding its speciality polyamides production capacities in China and the US. In China, at its Zhangjiagang site (Jiangsu Province) specialised in biosourced speciality polyamides, Arkema is increasing its compounding capacities and in 2017 will bring on stream two production lines to manufacture polyamide 11 in addition to polyamide 10 already produced on the site. In the US, a new investment in the Birdsboro
site (Pennsylvania) will enable the manufacture of new Pebax biosourced grades for the sports and electronics market. • Chemical firm LyondellBasell has selected its La Porte, Texas, manufacturing complex as the site for a new High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) plant, after having announced the project in August. It will be the first commercial plant to employ its new proprietary Hyperzone PE technology and will have capacity of 500,000 tonnes/year and an investment of US$700 million. Construction is scheduled to begin early 2017 with startup planned for 2019; and is part of a US$4 billion expansion plan of the company until 2020.
Recipe for safe packaging Bisphenol-A (BPA) chemical, which is used in the manufacturing of plastics, has been identified as a major health threat, especially when used in food packaging. The extent of the risk of using BPA, or the allowable safe levels, have become topics of discussion of many debates, says Angelica Buan in this report, adding that safer alternatives may be in the pipeline.
Synthetic hormone under wraps BPA, a chemical building block, is used primarily to make polycarbonate (PC) and epoxy resins. Clear and rigid PCs are used to make food and beverage containers as well as other goods like baby bottles. Epoxy resins, on the other hand, are used as anti-corrosive coatings or liners for metal cans, bottle tops and other metal products. BPA, according to studies, is carcinogenic, and acts like a synthetic hormone or oestrogen that may adversely affect reproductive systems. Researchers have also associated BPA with obesity, brain defects, cardiovascular abnormalities and other serious disorders. It is for this reason that in 2012, the US Food and Drug Authority (FDA) ruled against the use of BPA in baby bottles and linings of infant formula cans.
BPA first came under heat back in 2012 in studies on baby bottles. Since then, manufacturers have introduced BPA-free bottles
Despite the bad rap on BPA, it has maintained its growth pace. Global volume consumption of BPA was estimated at 7.7 million tonnes in 2015, and is projected to rise to 10.6 million tonnes by 2022 at a CAGR of 4.8% between 2016 and 2022. India-based research firm Industry Experts says the strong demand for BPA is coming from emerging markets, with China, India, Mexico and Russia maintaining above average growth prospects. There are other applications that will also drive demand for BPA, such as wind turbines that require resilient rotor blades reinforced with epoxy resins. The firm also says that the intensifying campaign against the use of BPA in the food and beverage packaging sector may not be detrimental to BPA growth, since this sector accounts for a mere 3-4% of the use of PC.
“Poison” in a can? In the meantime, US-headquartered Environmental Working Group (EWG) has created a database of 16,000 processed food and beverage products packaged in materials that may contain BPA. The array of products from 926 brands includes: the lids of glass jars for baby food, pickles, jelly, salsa and other condiments; aerosol cans for whipped toppings and non-stick sprays; bottles and tins of cooking oil; aluminium beverage cans, metal coffee cans and even beer kegs
EWG recently unveiled an easily searchable database of more than 16,000 food and beverage items that may come in cans, bottles or jars containing BPA
As of this writing, EWG has identified 78 brands in the US that still use cans with BPA-based epoxy lining for their products, while 31 brands have already shifted to non-BPA cans. Meanwhile, a new study carried out by researchers from Stanford and John Hopkins Universities reinforces the link between canned food and exposure to BPA. The study, published in the Environmental Research journal, highlights the challenges of varying exposure to BPA since specific canned foods have higher levels of BPA than others. The “worst offenders” it noted are canned soup, canned pasta, and canned vegetables and fruit. While a single conclusive study to nail down BPA may not be possible, consumers would rather stay safe, thus pressing manufacturers to transition to non-BPA packaging.
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Del Monte Foods may have been the first to start using linings of polyester and vinyl for some of its canned products in 2009. This year, it announced further conversions in a majority of its product offerings. Del Monte says cans for all its fruit and tomato products as well as nearly 100% of vegetable products will convert to non-BPA linings
Following its lead is another US producer Campbell Soup Company that plans to phase out cans that are lined with BPA. The company has already begun using cans with linings made from acrylic or polyester materials and will continue to introduce the new linings across the US and Canada until the transition is complete in mid-2017. Since 2012, Campbell says it has tested hundreds of alternatives, identifying linings that would ensure the safety of more than 600 different recipes, such as its tomato-based products, which are naturally acidic and can react with some linings over time.
Campbell Soup has already begun using cans with linings made from acrylic or polyester materials
Differing opinions and policies Even with studies attempting to establish the downsides of BPA, industry regulatory bodies are split in their opinions. The European Food and Safety Agency (EFSA) has called for a re-evaluation of BPA on the heels of a public consultation. It has, however, negated any health risk from BPA at current exposure levels, but in 2015 lowered the tolerable daily intake (TDI) recommendations to 4 microgram (mcg) from 50 mcg/kg/body weight/day.
Machinery maker Milacron recently confirmed the sale of the first Klear Can production system, with Klear Cans expected to hit grocery store shelves in Q1 2017. BPA-free Klear Can offers the advantage of allowing consumers to see the quality of the food at the point of sale
It has also re-classified BPA as CMR 1B, or a category 1B substance that is toxic for reproduction. This classification, which will come into force in March 2018, is significant as BPA can be nominated as a substance of very high concern (SVHC) on the basis of REACH regulations. CMRs can also be banned for consumer products in the EU. Other European countries such as Sweden, Denmark and France are also tackling the fate of BPA in their products. France, for example, has become the first country in the world to ban disposable plastic plates, to achieve its target of 60% organic material use by 2020, and streamlining, if not dismantling, its use of BPA-laced materials. While France prohibits sale and import of BPA products within the country, it however allows the export of products that contain BPA, to allegedly protect the French trade competitiveness since BPA use is still allowed in the European Union! Carrying the flag for BPA Meanwhile, the BPA Coalition (TBC), a group of EU-based manufacturers and users of BPA, maintains that with “existing standards for metal cans no alternative today is ready to live up to the quality of BPA-based epoxy resins in order to ensure consumers are safe when opening their can of soup”. It says that BPA-based epoxy resins are used to prevent bacteria contamination of the can’s content while maintaining the integrity of the can, adding that the resins provide critical properties that enable “the most effective food contact performance.” TBC cites as proof that the FDA has not reported any incidence of food-borne illness from the failure of a metal can in the 30 years since epoxy-resin coatings have been in use.
Brand owners have come under heat in the US, with the unveiling of a recent report, Buyer Beware, that found BPA in 67% of food cans tested nationwide
“BPA is one of the most tested substances in the world and health agencies from around the world, from the French Food Safety Agency (ANSES), to agencies in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, have concluded that at current levels of exposure BPA in food contact materials is safe,” TBC explains. BPA-free alternatives, how safe are these? Researchers at the above Stanford study posed doubts on the safety of synthetic BPA alternatives like Bisphenol S (BPS), which is used in some products and food-contact packaging labelled as BPA-free. TBC confers that compared to BPA, alternatives like BPS are “much less tested than BPA, and in some cases, results demonstrate that there could be a potential risk to the environment and human health”. Nonetheless, the group encourages for more research to find the ideal alternatives to BPA. Meanwhile, a new study on BPS by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), titled Exposure to the BPA Substitute Bisphenol-S Causes Unique Alterations of Germline Function, says that BPS also effects hormone disruption and, furthermore, is also harmful at even lower concentrations than BPA. For the study, researchers exposed nematodes to both BPA and BPS in concentrations similar to those commonly found in humans. The exposed worms showed lower fertility rates than control worms, the study says. This suggests that BPS may not represent a safe alternative to BPA with regards to reproductive and germline toxicity, according to the researchers, adding that BPS is more damaging to the endocrine system than BPA. A more recent study published in the Endocrine Society’s journal Endocrinology also points to the danger of BPS that is akin to BPA. According to the
US-headquartered Endocrine Society, exposure to BPS can encourage the formation of human fat cells. BPS, while it has a slightly different chemical structure than BPA, is as harmful to health, and interferes with the body’s hormones, the study says. PVC-based and styrene-based polymers have also been considered as BPA replacements but these materials have their own share of health risks. Other coating types such as oleoresin, derived from oxidative drying of natural oils, and polyester resins are also being used as substitutes for BPA. Plant-based coating a key option Offering a totally different option as a replacement to BPA-based resins is a new coating technology, SoyPK Reactive Oligomer Cross-Linker, developed by US-based Ohio Soybean Council (OSC), in partnership with researchers at the world’s largest non-profit R&D organisation, Battelle in Columbus. Made from soybean oil, it is obtained using a solvent-free acetoacetylation process. It is compatible with many crosslinkers and capable of forming coatings that match the performance of BPA-based coatings, says OSC. According to OSC, R&D has shown its potential to provide excellent corrosion resistance for aluminium and steel cans, a key attribute when packaging highly acidic food and beverages. Soy-PK also dries quickly, which allows production facilities to maintain line speeds when spraying or applying the coating to food or beverage containers. OSC says it is actively marketing the technology to different levels of the packaging industry value chain and has received worldwide interest in licensing the product. With the phasing out of these chemicals and the ongoing screening of packaging chemicals for safety of use, the industry is faced with a challenge to look for more viable substitutes that can deliver the same timetested results for effective packaging.
A new coating technology made from soybean oil may be a healthier option
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Front Cover Feature
ARLANXEO: a strong global player in synthetic rubber ARLANXEO will make its debut at the K2016 show this year, held from 19-26 October in Düsseldorf, Germany. The newly formed joint venture company for synthetic rubber faces the world stage at K, representing a diverse range of synthetic rubber applications focusing on new products, mobility, leisure and green sectors at its Booth: 6C78.
With 20 production sites in nine countries, and a 3,800-strong global workforce, ARLANXEO, now headquartered in Maastricht, the Netherlands, had global sales of EUR2.8 billion in 2015. The business comprises two units: Tyre & Speciality Rubbers (TSR) and High Performance Elastomers (HPE). The company's HPE unit produces 655,000 tonnes/year of technical rubbers that include hydrogenated nitrile butadiene rubber (HNBR), ethylene vinyl acetate (EVM), ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) and chloroprene rubber (CR). These materials have a wide range of industrial applications. For example, they are used as modifiers for plastics and adhesives, in gas and oil exploration components, and in functional components for the automotive and cable industries. Meanwhile, the TSR unit produces 1.4 million tonnes/year of Butyl Rubber (BR) and polybutadiene rubber/styrene butadiene rubber (PBR/SBR) that focus on a broad portfolio for tyre applications. These are used primarily in inner liners, treads and sidewalls of modern, fuel-efficient tyres as well as non-tyre applications such as chewing gum, sports and golf balls, hoses and conveyor belts.
t may be a new kid on the block, but ARLANXEO, a 50:50 joint venture formed in April this year between German chemicals speciality firm LANXESS and Saudi Arabia’s global energy and chemicals enterprise Saudi Aramco, already has 100 years of experience in performance elastomers. Speaking at a pre-K2016 preview, CEO of ARLANXEO, Jan Paul de Vries, said, “Thanks to our two parent companies, ARLANXEO has a head start.” He explained, “Our two parent companies are highly complementary partners. Saudi Aramco is a premier supplier of feedstock vital to the synthetic rubber industry. ARLANXEO will benefit from backward integration of feedstock from Saudi Aramco. Furthermore, LANXESS possesses world-class assets for the production of synthetic rubber, leading technologies and the industry’s broadest portfolio of market-leading brands and premium products. Together, in the form of ARLANXEO, these two companies represent a powerful Therban HNBR is designed for demanding applications requiring exceptional durability combination.” in aggressive environments, such as the oil exploration industry
Front Cover Feature Spotlight at K2016 The company is highlighting its Levapren EVM polymer with integrated sensitivity to high temperatures; Therban HNBR for superior performance at a high temperature range; and Baymod N functionalised nitrile rubber grades, compatible with a variety of different base polymers. The halogen-free Levapren is a radical solution polymerisation with good physical properties; with flame retardancy achieved by adding specialised fillers. It has excellent resistance to weather, ageing, UV, ozone, and heat of up to 175°C. It also has a balanced oil resistance, low temperature properties through proper choice of vinyl acetate (VA) content. In fact, ARLANXEO is the only global EVM supplier to offer VA in the range of 40-90 wt%. Thus, the polymer is ideal for wind turbine applications.
ARLANXEO will introduce a new grade of Baymod NBR powder at K
Other benefits are: excellent chemical, oil and hydrolysis resistance; remains permanently flexible and elastic while being impact resistant and as an additive has very low extraction of liquid plasticisers. It also has improved coefficient of friction and noise reduction in brake applications. The areas of applications for Baymod N are diverse. It is suitable for friction linings, brake linings and fuel-resistant applications; shoe soles; profiles, cables, sheeting and conveyor belts; and for other industrial applications. At K, a key innovation will be introduced.
Therban HNBR is used in timing belts
Therban HNBR is designed for demanding applications requiring exceptional durability in aggressive environments, in particular fuel-saving engine and car body designs as well as the oil exploration industry. It also caters to challenging applications for railway and aerospace industries, as well as mechanical engineering. It has exceptional resistance to technical oils, abrasion, heat, ozone, fuel, chemicals, and temperature; and even possesses the ability to function at temperatures from -40°C to 165°C. Moreover, Therban demonstrates good compression set behaviour. A sustainable alternative to metal chain drivers, Therban provides longer service life than articles based on conventional elastomers. Two grades for lower temperature applications will be introduced at K. Meanwhile, Baymod N powdered NBRs serve as non-extractable and ‘simple to use’ modifiers, benefiting tyre manufacturers, due to the ability to improve the fuel economy of tyres. It has free flowability, ensuring automatic processing; is highly compatible with different polar base polymers (e.g. PVC), while linear grades are soluble in many organic solvents and pre-crosslinked grades provide excellent surface properties required in extrusion processes.
Levapren for alternative energy cables Research points to fire risk as the second leading cause of accidents in wind turbine, following blade breakdown. During the pre-K show meet in June, Jörg Stumbaum, ARLANXEO’s Manager Technical Marketing CR/EVM, detailed how a useful technology can pose potential hazard at the same time. He said that though wind power is considered to be one of the most environmentally friendly sources of energy, strong electrical currents flow through large wind turbines at voltages of over 500 volts. “Although the risk of fire is not greater in wind turbines than in any other well-maintained technical installations, if fire should break out, for instance because of an electrical short circuit or lightning strike, it is much more difficult to extinguish, since the components that house the generators are very high up in the air. And if a fire does occur, the consequences (e.g. corrosion by halogenic gases) must be minimised as much as possible,” he said. Levapren EVM elastomer is said to be the solution to prevent this risk in alternative energy cable applications. At K, ARLANXEO will, thus, demonstrate how Levapren EVM can help to significantly reduce the spread of fire and the subsequent damage due to hydrochloric acid corrosion in or near generators, therefore, protecting large installations and considerable investments in the event of fire. OCTOBER 2016
Front Cover Feature To meet the market need for a further improved balance between low temperature properties and oil resistance, the company says it is now working with its customers on a new generation of Therban elastomers, which will redefine the Therban application window. It says these products will push the boundaries for low temperature applications well below -40Â°C, whilst maintaining excellent oil resistance.
An offshore windmill park shows the use of Levapren EVM for wind turbines
To be introduced are two specially formulated compounds: Levapren 500 and Levapren 700, ideally suited for use in nacelles of wind turbines, specifically in cable sheathing. Because they contain no halogens, they do not emit gasses normally released by halogen-based materials in a fire. In addition, Levapren EVM grades have comparatively high VA content, which makes them compatible with polar fillers, owing to their high polarity. The two compounds also do not absorb oil or grease from the surrounding machinery, so in the event of a fire, absorbed burning hydrocarbons will not destroy the flame suppressing properties of the cable jacket. Furthermore, the molecular weight of Levapren is particularly widely distributed and wellcontrolled. In addition, it is a gel-free product, which has a positive effect on the processability of the material and the quality of the end-product. Therban pushes the envelope for lower temperatures At K, ARLANXEO will introduce two new products of Therban HNBR for low temperature applications: Therban LT 1707, a fully saturated grade, and Therban LT 1757, a partially saturated grade. Both grades offer the ability to fulfill stringent low temperature requirements up to -40Â°C, while at the same time maintaining the high dynamically and heat resistant performance of this rubber. This makes the grades ideal for use in applications in cold regions or in cold media, for example in the oil and gas exploration industry.
ARLANXEO will introduce two specially formulated Levapren compounds ideally suited for nacelles of wind turbines, specifically in cable sheathing. Shown here is a crosssection of a cable
More NBR grades to follow At K, the company is also presenting its broad portfolio from linear to highly pre-crosslinked powder NBR products, produced by a grinding or spray drying process for use in various applications, including gaskets, brake pads, and PVC modification.
Front Cover Feature Luc Briquel, Technical Marketing NBR, explains: “In PVC modification, typically plasticisers based on phthalic acid esters like DOP are used to make these polymer blends softer. However, over time these liquid substances tend to migrate to the substrate surface, leading to shrinkage and hardening of the articles.” It is for this reason that NBR powders act as non-extractable plasticisers and increase an article’s shelf life. At K, ARLANXEO will introduce a new NBR powder, Baymod NXL 3361, that offers improved colour stability and extrusion properties compared to standard products. Improving fuel economy of tyres Automotive OEMs have to meet stringent requirements for fuel economy and grip. These requirements can only be met by using materials designed to improve the dynamic properties of the tyre. Functionalised rubbers are a very suited and proven way to meet these requirements in combination with fillers and silanes. Therefore, tyre makers are constantly looking for new types of functional polymers to help create compounds that best fit their application developments. Thus, ARLANXEO will be introducing a newly developed technology for the production of functionalised solution rubbers, which is part of the Tyre & Speciality Rubbers business unit. Applicable to both styrene butadiene rubber (S-SBR) and functionalised butadiene rubber, in particular, neodymium catalysed butadiene rubber (Nd-BR), the technology increases the interaction with fillers, helping to improve the dynamic properties of tyre tread compounds.
ARLANXEO will be introducing a newly developed technology for the production of functionalised solution rubbers like S-SBR and Nd-BR. The technology increases the interaction with fillers, helping to improve the dynamic properties of tyre tread compounds
As the filler becomes more easily dispersed into the compound, a more elastic network is built up. This reduces the rolling resistance and thus improves the fuel economy of the tyre. In some cases traction properties can also be enhanced. • S-SBR: The new functionalised solution rubber technology represents an upgrade for the S-SBR family – and new grades will be added to the ARLANXEO Buna FX product group, a brand new family of high performance rubbers. The firm also says that different grades, namely high vinyl and high styrene rubbers, are available for customer approvals. • Nd-BR: With regard to the Nd-BR types, ARLANXEO says it has researched into several ways to modify and functionalise these grades. As a first result, the easy-to-process Buna Nd EZ grades have been commercialised and are already acknowledged in the rubber industry as being able to provide a good balance between the dynamic properties and the processability of the respective Nd-BR compounds. One of the next major steps in the Nd-BR development will be to introduce a new functionalisation technology on an industrial scale. According to David Hardy, Technical Service and Development Manager at ARLANXEO, functionalising Ziegler/Natta catalyst polymerised rubbers such as Nd-BR is much more complicated due to the side reactions that can occur, one of the reasons there are fewer of these products available in the market compared to S-SBR. But the company has found a technique to control this in a reliable way. Though the new functionalised solution rubbers offer immediate benefits to the tyre industry, in the longer term they can be adopted for use in other applications where excellent dynamic properties are required, for example in conveyor belting, anti-vibration and sport shoe soles applications. Hardy also says that since the introduction of tyre labelling in 2012, tyre manufacturers are looking to produce tyres with improved rankings. “This can only be achieved by using high performance and functionalised rubbers, particularly in their tread compounds.” He adds that the company’s goal is to apply its extensive R&D capabilities to develop functionalised S-SBRs and Nd-BRs to meet customers’ needs and to outperform rubber grades currently available. ARLANXEO says these are just some of the examples of the way it works with its customers and applies its R&D resources to deliver solutions. All of these will be on show at K2016. OCTOBER 2016
Technology/Machinery at K2016 Materials • Riyadh-headquartered Sabic’s focus will be solutions to minimise food wastage, reduce weight and lower carbon footprint of packaging materials. Thus, it will showcase new high-flow PP Flowpact products for thinwall food packaging where a good balance of high stiffness and high flow is required; and LDPE film grade for thin-gauge packaging. New advanced fivelayer barrier film structures for meat packaging include LLDPE 218BE with improved draw ability and fewer deposits. A new range SABIC continues to of PP copolymer cast take a pro-active role films offer extra protection in the industry by with high puncture and improving the purity, organoleptic properties tear resistance, sealability, and cleanliness of resins eye-catching optics, and used in PET and food compliance with food packaging regulations. Another highlight will be a line of renewably sourced PE and PP resins based on waste fats and oils. • Topas Advanced Polymers will focus on the expanded adoption of cyclic olefin copolymers (COC) in healthcare, packaging, optics, and electronics. In addition, Topas COC has been identified as an alternative to Barex polyacrylonitrile (PAN) in pharmaceutical packages such as medicinal pouches and patches that require strong chemical resistance and adsorption. • US-based ExxonMobil will showcase its expanded Exceed XP high-performance PE resins launched in April at Chinaplas in Shanghai, China. It will also display the recently introduced Enable 40-02 mPE for compression packaging and geomembranes, as well as a range of low viscosity Vistamaxx performance polymers for home and consumer products and other applications. • Dutch firm DSM Engineering Plastics will launch ForTi MX polyphthalamides (PPAs) based on nylon 4T, said to be cost-effective alternatives to die-cast metals. The grades feature improved mechanical strength and toughness across a broad range of temperatures. Available with 30-50% glass fibre, MX grades are targeted for structurally loaded parts such as housings, covers, and brackets in automotive powertrain, air and fuel systems, and chassis and suspension, as well as industrial pumps, valves, actuators, home appliances, and fasteners.
With the market for die cast replacement growing at close to 10% per year, DSM believes that its ForTii MX will ensure that high growth continues
• Germany’s BASF will showcase its Ultramid Advanced N portfolio comprising unreinforced PPAs and compounds reinforced with short/long-glass fibres. Said to exceed the properties of conventional PPAs with consistent mechanicals up to 100°C, glasstransition temperature of 125°C, chemical resistance, low water absorption, and low friction and wear, the products are suitable for small connectors and function-integrating housings in white goods, consumer electronics, and mobile devices. Other target markets are automotive components and structural parts near the engine and gearbox in contact with hot, aggressive media and different fuels. • Germany-based Lanxess will debut a new generation of Durethan PA6, BKV 30 XF (XtremeFlow), as a successor to Durethan DP BKV 30 XF. It is 30% glass fibrereinforced and is said to be more than 17% easier flowing, targeted at Lanxess’s Durethan PA6 is mounts and brackets used for the oil pan module in vehicles. Also new are for the new six-cylinder three PA6 compounds boxer engines of the reinforced with 30% glass Porsche 911 Carrera fibres and microbeads: Durethan BG 30 X XF, BG 30 X H2.0 XF, and BG 30 X H3.0 XF. The H3.0 thermal stabilisation compound has a low copper and halide content and is customised for natural and lightly coloured applications in electrical/electronics parts such as plugs, plug connectors, and fuse boxes, while the H2.0 version is for black components that are subjected to higher heat loads. • Another firm introducing new nylon grades is US-based Ascend Performance Materials. The PA66
Technology/Machinery at K2016 copolymers boast the same CLTE as aluminium for use as window profiles in large industrial/ commercial buildings. The company has also entered the food packaging market with new PA66 compounds for products such as oven bags and downgauged meat-packaging films (40 microns compared to 50-60 microns). • Also on the nylon trail, Solvay Specialty Polymers will introduce two Technyl products for the automotive market: a new series of heat performance PA6.6 for thermal management applications and a PA6.6 with a specified and controlled halogen content tailored to fit sensitive electrical/electronic applications. Solvay will also launch Technyl 4earth, said to result from a "breakthrough" recycling process for technical textile waste, initially from airbags, converting them into high-quality PA66 grades with performance comparable to prime material. Solvay will also introduce new additions to its Technyl Sinterline PA powders line, specially designed for 3D printing applications and for development of 3D printed prototypes. • Italy’s Softer has a new line of Litepol B compounds based on PA6 reinforced with hollow-glass microspheres to reduce the weight of plastic parts by up to 30%. Targeted at the automotive sector,
they boast good strength and shock resistance, dimensional stability, and short cycle times. • UK’s PEEK specialist Victrex will feature AE 250 PAEK composites, developed for the aerospace sector. For automotive, it will feature its new online PEEK gears package. A new type of PEEK and a record-length PEEK composite structure in the form of spoolable underwater pipe will target the oil and gas sector. • Heroflon will present a new range of thermoplastic compounds called Heromelt, which are fluorothermoplastics, FP PEEK special blends and colour fluoro masterbatches. • Germany’s Covestro will showcase the prototype of a new design for a steering wheel cover. It features a wide range of colours, surface structures and tactile properties that can be reproduced on the same component from a single mould using DirectCoating. The coated component is produced in a two-component mould using a two-stage process in an injection moulding machine. After moulding in the first cavity, the cover is transferred to a second cavity that is one coating layer thicker. The solventfree coating system is injected into this mould via RIM (reaction injection moulding) mixing head. This creates a polyurethane-coated component with virtually no post-processing.
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Technology/Machinery at K2016 • US-based Dow Chemical will demonstrate new flexible packaging being developed with Italy’s Nordmeccanica, a specialist in coating, laminating, and metallising machinery. Dow will also feature its new family of Innate Precision Packaging Resins, said to offer stiffness/toughness balance with improved processing. Produced with a patented molecular catalyst, coupled with advanced process technology, the resins have been shown to have up to twice the abuse resistance of standard PE resins in coextruded films.
• Huntsman will feature pigments for applications ranging from packaging and construction profiles to automotive and electronic components. It will also feature its new Tioxide TR48 TiO2, said to process well, even at high temperatures. Designed for use in polyolefin masterbatches, BOPP films, and engineering compounds, TR48 boasts easy dispersion and tint-reduction capabilities for lowVOC formulations. It is geared to premium and general packaging, consumer electronics, and automotive components.
• Austria’s Borealis will showcase three new Queo polyolefin elastomer (POE) grades with lower densities (0.868-0.870 g/cc) and MFR from 0.5-6.6 for interior and exterior car parts, adhesives and cable compounds. It launched Queo in 2013 after it was acquired from Dutch firm Dex Plastomers, a joint venture of DSM and ExxonMobil Chemical. After three years of R&D and investing in Compact solution polymerisation technology (now rebranded Borceed), Borealis is ready with its compounds. Meanwhile, its sister company Nova Chemicals will showcase an all-PE stand-up pouch for dry foods like pet foods. A multilayer film structure, it offers recyclability, unlike the standard PET/PE laminate, and the ability to run on the same lines at the same speeds.
• Lanxess’s subsidiary Rhein Chemie Additives will feature the latest in its line of organic Macrolex Gran colourants, said to provide brilliant colouring of plastics such as PS, ABS, PET, and PMMA. Consisting of hollow spheres, the high-purity Macrolex microgranules can be easily crushed, allowing for quick and even dispersion. The free-flowing properties of the 0.3-mm spheres make precise metering easier and prevent clumping during mixing.
• Italy’s Finproject Industries will introduce Levirex antistatic and oil resistant compound developed in Finproject’s laboratories, according to European safety regulations. Based on expansible and crosslinking polyolefins, the compounds can be injection moulded. Pigments • Swiss firm Clariant’s new PV Fast Yellow H4G is to replace lead chromates in PVC and polyolefins. This FDA-compliant organic benzimidazolone is said to have three times the colour strength of lead-based pigments, so lower levels are needed, as well as opacity and weather fastness. Also new is quinacridone PV Fast Pink E/EO1, made with bio-succinic acid, for colouring toys and food packaging. Its recently launched Polysynthren Black H is an IR-transparent dye that enables easy sorting of black articles made from nylons, ABS, and PC during recycling. Clariant is replacing its lead chromates with PV Fast Yellow H4G
Masterbatches/Additives • US firm Modern Dispersions will show a new line of EcoBlack masterbatches that contain 100% recycled carbon black from post-consumer tyres. EcoBlack 40, a PE-based masterbatch, complements the company’s line of black masterbatches. It also delivers cost savings from 5-10% over standard grades and can be used in traditional applications such as film, sheet, and moulded items, at typical letdown ratios of between 2-5%. The firm has trialled it in several automotive and office furniture applications.
Modern Dispersions’s EcoBlack product is made of 100% recycled carbon black from postconsumer tyres
• South Korean Songwon’s Songxtend 2124 stabiliser for the automotive industry improves the long-term thermal stability (LTTS) of the short and long-glass fibre reinforced PP used in interior applications for moulded parts, and can match the LTTS performance of 1,000 hours and beyond at 150°C. It also allows parts to be thinner and lighter while still having similar mechanical properties as unfilled parts.
Technology/Machinery at K2016 • Spain’s Tolsa Group will launch a new range of Adins Clay extended flame retardants based on natural silicates, to meet the new stringent demands for smoke performance. The combination with halogen and non-halogen FR and Adins additives in PVC and rubber systems are said to significantly reduce heat release and smoke generation in transportation, electrical/electronics, building and construction, and structural applications.
Tolsa will introduce new flame retardants
• Struktol Company of America will highlight additives for reclaimed/ recycled plastics and for polymer compounds that contain recycled content. These are TR229 for PC and PC/ABS blends as well as PA6 and PA6.6 compounds; TR219 for PET and PBT compounds. RP38 is a new, multi-functional package that incorporates vis-breaking technology with lubricant and odour control, while RP37 is designed to provide unmatched viscosity modification and lubrication in recycled PP compounds and resins that contain high levels of PE contaminants.
Struktol will feature an additive line for recycled compounds
• Germany’s Wacker Chemicals’s Vinnex line of additives for bioplastic compounds are based on PVA. Vinnex 2526 is said to simplify
manufacture of highly transparent, biodegradable PLA and PBS films, optimising both melt and bubble stability during extrusion. Meanwhile, Vinnex 2522, 2523, and 2525 are said to boost processing and heat-sealing properties in paper coating with PLA or PBS. Vinnex 8880 is designed to enhance melt flow for injection moulding and 3D printing.
Technology/Machinery at K2016 • Clariant will launch AddWorks LXR920 flame-retardant masterbatch, with UV protection, for polyolefin roofing sheets. It will also showcase new Licocene PE 3101 TP, a metallocene-catalysed PE, as a nucleator for PS foams. It is said to be more economical than standard nucleating agents with similar solubility, viscosity, and drop point. • Vertellus Specialties’s new products are used in compounding as compatibilisers for PA combined with recycled PET, and as chain extenders to produce branched high RV polyamides with lower material and processing costs. • BASF will highlight Tinuvin XT 55 HALS light stabiliser for polyolefin films, fibres, and tapes. With low contribution to water carryover, it is designed for geotextiles and other construction textiles, roofing insulation, barrier structures, and carpets that have to withstand harsh climate conditions such as prolonged UV exposure, fluctuating and elevated temperatures, and environmental pollutants.
Recycling Equipment • Under the banner of Careperformance, Austria’s Erema will unveil its recycling 4.0 initiative at the K2016 show. Building on the high level of automation of its Interema recycling technology, introduced at K2013, the company has developed what it calls a smart factory package for recyclers and producers. Careperformance will be shown live in action at an outdoor 480-sq m Recycling Centre, with an Intarema TVEplus 1108 integrated with Laserfilter, which will be recycling some of the plastic waste from the K show on site. The machine, quality and process data will be transferred in real time to Erema’s booth in Hall 9, Stand C05. The closed product loop, from production to reuse, will likewise be presented in live demonstrations. And lastly, the Recycling Centre will feature an exhibition of products made with recycled material. It will open at 11 am on 19 October in the outdoor area (FG 09.1).
• For the wire and cable industry, US-based Addivant will highlight three products: Lowinox Fast XL for power cables and two new Polybond coupling agents enabling HFFR (zero halogen) cables. In transportation are new stabilisers for PU foam for compliance with new car interior emission standards, and Royaltuf nylon impact modifiers for automotive interior and under-the-hood applications. Others like Ultranox 800 series allow enhanced efficiency for PP. • Chemtura Corporation will showcase its flame retardants and organometallics, a pioneer in co-catalyst and activator systems. Its latest Axion Mao activator technology now fully implemented serves the global single site catalysts market. Chemtura’s flame retardants benefit industries such as electrical/ electronics, insulation, furniture and automotiv
• Croda Europe will be offering live demonstrations on a range of anti-scratch additives, said to reduce scratch width, depth and visibility with no negative impact on parts including low visible bloom, low odour and maintained gloss. The range offers products for a variety of polymers and applications from high gloss surfaces to transparent parts.
Erema’s smart factory package under the banner of Careperformance
Careperformance consists of four components, with the Intarema system forming the basis of the smart factory application. In addition to the previous machine data, specially integrated sensors, the QualityOn package, can be used to record and evaluate MVR (Melt Volume Flow Rate) and colour. The QualityOn enables recyclers and producers to achieve consistency in the recyclates, in accordance with special requirements of customers, and document these recipes using online data acquisition and analysis. Recipes, thus, can be compared with each other and modified. In order to make use of the data in a user-friendly way, Erema has developed a MES (Manufacturing Execution System) known as re360. It keeps track of the productivity of an entire range of machinery in five modules, works independently of the plant manufacturer, and customers can integrate not only different systems but also their global production locations. It also gives an overview of the capacities/ stoppage times of the systems for management, documents key quality data of the recyclates for the location manager and informs the operator about upcoming maintenance jobs.
Technology/Machinery at K2016 Furthermore, re360 is linked to the Spare Parts Online, Erema's online webshop. Any upcoming maintenance work and the replacement of individual parts are displayed by re360 and spare parts can be ordered directly. The customers' respective Erema systems and previous orders are stored at Spare Parts Online. At the last K2013, Erema launched the Intarema system, based on Counter Current technology. It is said to provide process stability while maintaining flexibility with easy operation and less energy consumption. This stability enables automation processes such as Smart Start or the Recipe Management System, which in turn form the basis for Industry 4.0 applications. Since its launch in 2013, more than 450 Intarema systems have been sold worldwide. • Italian manufacturer of recycling lines Gamma Meccanica has sold lines in the Turkish and Japanese markets. In Turkey, Gamma Meccanica supplied a GM125 Compac for recycling of PP and PE waste. It comprises a Compac feed with cutter-compactor, single-screw extruder with degassing, screenchanger and pelletiser.
Gamma Meccanica’s GM90 Compac
The Compac cutter compactor is controlled by the Ecotronic system to provide significant energy savings. Water is no longer used to control temperature. It also affords the possibility of recycling materials with high moisture content. An important feature is the presence of the feeding screw that allows for a steady controlled flow of material into the extruder, which has a degassing station with two ports to facilitate the escape of gases produced during the melting of the material. New extruder screw designs have been incorporated to increase the production outputs of the machines while the barrel is heated by optimum heaters for this type of application. The exterior casing has improved insulation with ceramic fibre to prevent heat loss and ensure increased energy efficiency. Compac’s feeding screw was fundamental in the customer’s choice, says Gamma Meccanica. “Comparing the laboratory tests on the quality of the granules produced and the hourly production of major Italian and qualified foreign manufacturers of recycling plants, the Gamma Meccanica line ensured the best quality recycled granules and especially a higher hourly production. The line produces about 10% more than competitors' lines of the same size,” says the firm.
In Japan, a GM90 Compac line for stretch and packaging film recycling has been delivered to one of the largest stretch film recycler. The screw and barrel of the extruder are designed to process LDPE, LLDPE and PP. “Also in this case, the comparison of the Gamma Meccanica line with competitors has shown a more constant hourly production; it works in a more automated mode and has a very low energy consumption,” said the firm. • NGR will be showing its PET Improvement Equipment, P:REACT, with S.M.A.R.T. DIALOG. The firm says scientific third party tests, as well as FDA approval for 100% food contact, prove that the LSPProcess (Liquid State Polycondensation), which was launched at K2013, exceeds security levels required in the food packaging industry. This process therefore allows the usage of rPET in food or nonfood applications. S.M.A.R.T. DIALOG is a system that allows self-monitoring of the machine. For food grade applications, the decontamination performance is automatically monitored and the data is logged. A recipe-management on the equipment allows for input of PET material to be classified and also logged together with production-data, traceability included. (S.M.A.R.T. = Self-Monitoring Analysis + Reporting Technology). • Another Austrian firm Lindner will show a washing system for pre-shredded contaminated PCR known as Rafter that includes the Micromat WS wet shredder and a downstream Loop Dryer. The cleaning process comprises three phases. First, a special conveyor screw pulls the contaminated material under the water surface so that heavy contaminations such as metals, stones or glass can precipitate. Then, particles adhering to the plastic such as sand, soil or other contaminants are removed by a paddled rotor in a stationary drum, with floating and precipitated particles being separated by means of plate screens. Upon completion of the washing cycle, the pre-cleaned waste rises to the surface again and is delivered to the following process steps by a feed screw. The separated materials and removed contaminants are discharged by an optional chain-type scraper conveyor. It has an output of up to 2,500 kg/hour, and a water demand of 3 to 10 cu m/hour.
Lindner’s new Rafter for pre-washing of PCR OCTOBER 2016
Technology/Machinery at K2016 Thermoforming • Swiss machine maker WM Thermoforming Machines will debut the Twist700, designed to produce containers in PP, PP/EVOH, and PET that require high quality and narrow dimensional tolerances. • Italy’s OMV, which belongs to Swiss industrial group Wifag-Polytype Holdings, will showcase its fully automated RM77 Revolver, with in-mould trimming, for making cups and tubes. It has a revolving mould, hence its name, featuring three semi-moulds, one negative and two positive, on the same vertical axis. The negative mould half operates at full cycle speed, while the two positive mould halves complete the cycle every two cycles of the negative half. This design is said to allow formed parts to remain in the cavity for an additional cycle, which is said to improve quality and increase production speed to up to 174,000/hour of PP cups, which the company claims to be a world record. The 57-tonne thermoformer has a forming area of 770 x 480 mm. • Germany’s Illig will feature an in-mould labelling (IML) unit, able to decorate a variety of PP cups in different geometries, on an automated 18-cavity IC-RDM 70K roll-fed machine with a forming area of 680 x 300 mm and output of 17,280 PP cups/hour. Illig will also show a new flexible stacking and packaging system that combines stack removal, inspection and packaging. The removed parts can be packed as stacks in bags in conventional box sizes. It will be shown on a 12-cavity RDK54 thermoformer that will churn out cups made of transparent APET film with an antiblocking additive. • Italy’s Amut Comi will show its ACF820 former that combines the features of its V and F series. It can accommodate a wide range of materials to produce trays, lids, fruit/vegetable boxes, flowerpots, clamshells, nursery trays, and plates. With a modular design, ACF can be supplied in various configurations: forming, forming and cutting in the same station and in two stations, and forming, punching and cutting in three stations. Up or down stackers, three-axis robot as well as customised solutions are available to stack parts with different nesting. It can also be integrated with an IML system, using a side-entry robot to load labels inside the forming mould. The use of steel rule cutting moulds makes the IML more competitive compared to existing IMLs, says the firm. • Germany’s Kiefel’s new KTR 6.1 Speed produces cups at a speed of 45 cycles/minute. A significant rise in punching force is combined with a greater forming area to allow for an increase in the number of cavities. The newly developed pre-stretching plug is actuated by a linear motor. Faster pre-stretching has a positive effect on material distribution and processing speed. A new vertical stacking and picking
Kiefel’s latest high-speed thermoformer
system allows the KTR 6.1 to produce even thinner cups. It works without the assistance of brushes or rubber elements to eliminate friction, for smoother and cleaner production. • Canada’s GN Thermoforming Equipment will debut its GN800 form/cut/stack machine, which launches its entry into the market and expands its plug-assist machine offerings. Developed in partnership with Italy’s Agripak, which manufactured and sold form/ cut/stack thermoforming machines until 2003, GN says it is to meet the growing use of the technology. With a forming area of 800 x 570 mm, it can form 150 mm above and below the sheet line. It also features a standard oven that is four times the index length of the forming area, with high-efficiency solar heaters and independent top/bottom servo-plug drives for better material distribution. It is able to handle sheet widths up to 880 mm and thicknesses from 0.25-1.5 mm. The company is currently targeting food, medical and industrial packaging.
GN Thermoforming marks its entry into form/cut/ stack market with its exhibit
• Battenfeld-Cincinnati will display a new XXL version of its Multi-Touch roll stack that features a novel combination of a roll stack with two rolls for precalibration and either three, five, or seven rolls in post-calibration. They are said to produce stress-free sheet with thickness tolerances of ±1% at high speeds. The new XXL roll stack has an output of 3 tonnes/hour (depending on width and thickness of the sheet). BattenfeldCincinnati’s XXL version of its multitouch smoothing mechanism
Technology/Machinery at K2016 Blow Moulding • Austrian Mould & Matic, a part of Kiefel, will introduce its updated Blowliner injection stretch blow moulding (ISBM) machine. All the machine movements of the stretch/blow moulding station are actuated by a servo-electric system. The firm says it cooperated “with a renowned partner” for the best injection moulding technology, reportedly Austria’s machine maker Engel. It can produce 10-30 million 0.5-l containers/year. Mould & Matic’s latest IBM features electric movements for the stretch/blow moulding station
• Engel itself will show injection blow moulding (IBM) boasting higher speeds using a standard allelectric injection machine (E-motion 740/220) and an eight-cavity cube mould by Foboha of Germany. To shorten cycle time, preforms are blown in the opposite mould, parallel to injection moulding. An easix six-axis robot removes the finished parts and places these onto the conveyor belt with the opening facing upwards, without any increase in cycle time. An insulating cover in the blowing stations prevents the preforms from cooling off. Engel says this concept could be scaled up to 96 cavities without
compromising cycle time or accuracy and is beyond the range of conventional IBM, adding that process consistency can be achieved with its self-regulating iQ weight control and iQ clamp control software. Mould Engel says its new IBM concept temperature control can allow the production of up will be provided by six to 96 containers/shot Engel e-flomo watermanifold units, each having four automatic flow control circuits. • Italy’s ST Soffiaggio Tecnica will be exhibiting its top selling ASPI 150.2 Mono model. It has a 70-mm extruder, 2-l accumulator head and will be equipped with a robot for the extraction and handling of parts. The manual rotation of the extruder allows for ease of maintenance and screw extraction without displacement of the accumulator head and the possibility to completely retract the platform, to allow mould change from the top. • German Kautex is extending its all-electric KBB line, which it launched at K2013, for jerry cans. The KBB200 and KBB400 models are said to set new benchmarks for speed and efficiency. At the show, a model will be equipped with a three-layer head for the Kautex ReCo process, which incorporates regrind in the centre layer and colourant in the outer layer.
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Technology/Machinery at K2016 It will be coupled with networked auxiliaries such as leak testers, scales, and vision cameras that are integrated with the main machine control, in line with the trend towards smart factory and Industry 4.0. • Germany’s Bekum is extending its electric Eblow series with the hybrid EBlow 37, based on the proven BA34.2 hydraulic canister machine. The new model is a single-sided machine for canisters of 10-35 l and production rates up to 240 canisters/hour (based on a 20-l canister), which is 15% higher. It has an electric screw drive and clamp movements, but the closing pressure is servo-hydraulic. Clamp force is 37 tonnes and mould width is 700 mm.
Bekum’s new EBlow 37 will produce canisters
• US-based Jomar is introducing an IBM machine that incorporates a servo-driven hydraulic system, developed in partnership with Bosch Rexroth. The IntelliDrive series is said to feature reduced energy use comparable to all-electrics (40-50% less than standard hydraulics) and only costs 10-15% more than a conventional hydraulic unit, with no change in footprint. In addition to the power savings, the machine requires 40% less hydraulic oil, uses less than half the cooling tower water, and emits less ambient heat compared to standard hydraulic machines. It also features a closed-loop system for the clamping system, allowing precise control over the speed and position and faster speeds for opening and closing while simultaneously reducing impact upon tooling. Jomar’s IntelliDrive series features servo-driven hydraulics
• Germany’s Wittmann Battenfeld will show an IBM on a horizontal, servo-hydraulic SmartPower 240 press with a two-cavity, indexing-plate mould from Grosfilley of France. Preforms for 150-ml bottles are injected in one station, blown in the second, and ejected free-falling in the third. If a fourth station were added, the preforms could be overmoulded with a second colour or material.
• US firm Agr International will feature the CrystalView material optimisation system for automated management of material orientation/crystallinity for PET bottle manufacturers. CrystalView works in conjunction with Agr’s Process Pilot blow moulder management system. CrystalView uses an electronic camera to monitor bottle haze as an indicator of crystallinity and adjusts preform temperature to achieve the highest orientation and crystallinity, and maximum lightweighting potential, with lowest stresscracking tendency. Pipe/Profile Machinery • Italy’s Sica will showcase a complete downstream line from puller to packaging robot: P160 four caterpillar puller (up to 160 mm); TRS/C/SY 160R planetary saw for cutting and chamfering of PVC pipes; Multibell 160MR belling machine equipped with hot air oven and double socket Rieber system; EG 110 pipe lifting and turning unit and the patent pending Smartpack 110 machine that first straps a bundle of pipes and then bags the strapped bundle. Labelling is via pre-stamped stickers on single pipes or bags of pipes, and a robot places bags on pallets or, in the same line, can pick single pipes and place them on another pallet. • Germany’s KraussMaffei Berstorff will showcase two KMD 108-36 E2/R twin-screw extruders for producing u-PVC pipes at an output of up to 2,000 kg/hour. The 36D extruders boast 30% lower footprint than lines of similar outputs. Energy requirements are also lower compared to a larger extruder that uses the twinstrand, saving 0.02 kW per hour/kg of material. The extruders will be paired with the KM-RK 23-250 pipe head, designed for large diameters and high outputs. • Battenfeld-Cincinnati will show the pipe head, calibration sleeve, and vacuum tank in its Fast Dimension Change (FDC) system for polyolefin pipes. With the pipe head, die changes are said to be unnecessary, thanks to an adjustable melt gap. For the first time, an adapter for the outer layer has been integrated with the adjustable die, offering what is said to be the shortest purging times currently available. Instead of a rigid calibration cylinder, the FDC calibration sleeve consists of movable elements that can be adjusted to almost every diameter but do not leave any markings on the final product. The 1.5-m long FDC vacuum tank has servomotor-driven scissors-lift tables for height adjustments. Compounding • KraussMaffei Berstorff will launch a cascade extrusion system for reprocessing polyolefins. The first extruder, which can be equipped with an upstream shredding or agglomeration system, is designed for feeding, melting, homogenising, and degassing washed and sorted reclaim. Fine screening at the end of the processing section removes any solid foreign matter. A gear pump then feeds the melt into the second
Technology/Machinery at K2016 extruder, equipped with several gravimetric metering devices for all necessary compound components, as well as side feeders and an additional degassing system. Depending on process and task, cascade combinations of single/twin-screw extruders or two twin-screw extruders can be used. • German firm Leistritz will introduce a microscale laboratory as well as a variety of service and engineering support services, including the expansion of remote technical-service capabilities. In addition, an auditorium will be integrated into the booth design to facilitate daily technical presentations on a variety of twin-screw extrusion-related topics. • Japan Steel Works (JSW) will show its TEX25 a III laboratory extruder with a side feeder, for compounding engineering plastics and rubber/ elastomers. The compact 26.5 mm-diameter co-rotating twin-screw extruder (first debuted in 2014), is the smallest of eight types in the TEX- a III series (up to 129.5 mm diameter). Updates include a new gearbox design, combined with enhanced gears and bearings, screw shafts and barrels as well as individual barrel temperature control, allowing for a high torque of up to 194 Nm per shaft, as well as more aggressive kneading and mixing.
Auxiliaries • Rapid Granulator is introducing the Raptor hybrid shredder/granulator. The modular unit features a world-first with its “open-hearted” design, enabling quick and direct access to the shredder rotor and cutting chamber, simplifying cleaning and servicing. Other features include a unique cutting system, tiltback hopper, and design for integrated granulation. It is offered in 36 configurations to handle various applications. • Italy’s Piovan, which launched its Winfactory in 2008 as the first remote factory monitoring control, has been updated for Industry 4.0. It uses OPC-UA (Open Platform Communication-Unified Architecture) protocol to supervise and ensure dialogue between Piovan and OEM machines. There is no longer need for interfacing to “translate” data provided by each device into a common format. A similar communication platform allows access and use of the software on tablets and smartphones.
Piovan’s Winfactory 4.0 tablet
JSW’s laboratory twinscrew extruder
• German firm Coperion is presenting the STS Mc twin-screw extruder with a torque of 11.3 Nm/cu cm. Improvements include a new manifold with coaxial solenoid valves, improved heat covers, quick-release clamps for easier replacement of feed hopper as well as the CSpro basic control system. The 35 mm-diameter exhibitor model has a die head specifically developed for masterbatch applications, and is equipped with a volumetric twin-screw feeder from Coperion K-Tron. To prevent vibrations during operation, it has been made with a torsion-resistant base frame like the ZSK series. Coperion’s twinscrew extruder for masterbatch production
• Italian company Moretto will exhibit the Moisture Meter resin moisture analyser on an injection moulding machine producing a standard medical device. It is the culmination of the cooperation of two universities and an independent research laboratory. Trial applications at Moretto customer sites have been running for over a year. The system does not require calibration; it is only necessary to select the polymer to be treated in a continuous process and sampling every 10 seconds. It comes equipped with Moretto will show its Moisture Ethernet, USB, RS485 Meter on the machine communication ports and is compatible with Moretto’s Mowis supervising system. Other equipment on display will be XD10 mini-dryer; DGM continuous batch gravimetric dosing unit; and EXA conveying system for up to six stations. OCTOBER 2016
Technology/Machinery at K2016 • US company Conair’s patent-pending R-PRO (Resin Protection Conveying System) dense-phase vacuumconveying system minimises pellet fracturing, "angel hair" and equipment wear. Pellets move at speeds slower than high-speed dilute-phase conveying, thus resulting in pellets smearing against the sides of aluminium tubing, deforming and creating long streamers or “angel hair” that can clog the system. Brittle materials (like styrene or polycarbonate) can break up and create dust and fines, and hard pellets, like glass-filled resins, can wear away the inside of the conveying lines eventually causing leaks and failure. The new system, comprising standard vacuumconveying components, is said to reduce the severity of these problems. • US firm Maguire’s new LoPro vacuum loading system for conveying pellets and regrind from storage to single or multiple blenders is said to be simpler to operate. It consists of autonomously controlled receivers that are 80% shorter than conventional material loaders and receivers. The low-profile receivers protrude 200 mm above the lid of a blender, providing a low centre of gravity, minimising potential sway on fast-cycling processing machines. Each Maguire’s new LoPro vacuum loading system with a removable module receiver is selfcontrolled, with no central control required. Installation is with plug-and-play cabling and sequential linking of components. Receivers load on a first-in/first-out basis. Vacuum is supplied from a “mini-central” unit mounted on a portable floor stand or on the blender and is powered by a single-phase brushless motor. • ProTec Polymer Processing will show the new Somos Batchmix XL batch metering unit for outputs up to 1,920 kg/hour, suitable for feeding multi-component mixtures to both injection moulding machines and extruders. It is designed to handle up to six flowable components annd can be equipped with Somos suction conveyors for automatically filling material storage hoppers. • Nordson Corporation’s BKG HiCon R-Type 250A melt filtration system for recycling highly contaminated plastics involves the use of a cylindrical “separating head” with knives arranged on its surface in a helical pattern to move contaminants forward as the head rotates. Enclosing the head is a stationary filter element called a “strainer tube.” When contaminated melt from an entry port flows into the cylindrical
space between Nordson’s melt filtration system the rotating head and the strainer tube, the knives capture the contaminant while the contaminant-free melt moves through the strainer into flow channels that lead to an exit port. At the same time, the rotating head turns a screw, guiding the contaminated material through cooling sections and is discharged into collecting bins. The system operates at a maximum pressure of 350 bar and maximum temperature of 320°C, with outputs of up to 1,500 kg/hour. • Swiss firm Maag will unveil a new underwater pelletising system, combining the capabilities of Maag and recently acquired companies Gala Industries and Reduction Engineering Scheer (RE Scheer). The system has been designed to be a onestop solution. All of the components are produced by Maag companies. This includes the melt pumps, screenchangers, diverter valves, die plates, cutting chambers, water bath, strand dies, cutter systems, interlocking systems, cutter hubs, system controls, cutting tools, support frame, and any other required equipment. Maag’s new underwater pelletising system, a result of integration with its sister companies
Welding Machinery • Swiss firm Rinco Ultrasonics will present the latest version of its electrical ultrasonic welding machine, AGM Pro. It features a newly designed generator that can be controlled by the unit's own PLC; an integrated Internet interface and a touch display via which the user can also configure and control the AGM Pro. During a welding process, the device records all the parameters digitally, Rinco presents its new ultrasonic welder
Technology/Machinery at K2016 including error messages. A two-hand activation system provides for greater ergonomic comfort. Also new is the contact breaker that can be controlled via welding steps (welding force, distance and time), allowing clean welding of complex applications. • LPKF is presenting a wobbling PowerWeld3D 8000 to join large automotive parts of up to 100 cm x 70 cm with welds of between 1 and 5 mm width. It can also handle height differences. Wobbling is a process in which the laser beam moves with a small amplitude transverse to the weld path. Height differences that would otherwise lead to altered seam widths can be automatically compensated by adjusting the amplitude. The weld is, thus, tracked several times over, creating homogeneous temperature distribution. Analysis of the setting path and welding time generates reliable data about weld quality.
adapter enables processors to easily change the screw without dismantling the melt pipes, feed block and other components. An extraction tool is included to manually change the breaker plate meltfiltering inserts. The adapter is engineered with an electrical pressure gauge, manual or motorised pressure spindle, double thermocouple for every heating zone, and breaker plate with two-screen pack. Davis-Standard is also one of only a few manufacturers worldwide to offer a high-speed extruder for demanding processes where rates and energy savings significantly impact profitability. Its 75-mm, 40D extruder offers processing versatility due to a favourable surface to volume ratio, compared to conventional extruders. The potential for improved processing is especially evident for high-speed sheet, fibre and extrusion coating processes, at outputs up to 1,500 kg/hour. It can be supplied with a direct drive AC motor or permanent magnet synchronous motor, offering energy savings of 10-15% when compared to traditional systems. Additionally, the screw speed and drive unit can be adjusted to accommodate different processing conditions.
LPKF’s so-called wobbly welder to join large components
Extruders/Dies • US-based Davis-Standard will exhibit a 90-mm extruder with a new frame, feedscrew design and quick screw exchange (QSE), for high temperature processes up to 300°C and speciality copolymer resins for film, coating, adhesion and moulding applications. The extruder frame is built with additional space to simplify maintenance and improve heater access. Upgrades include computerdesigned screws; electrical barrel heating with air-cooled blowers for each zone; temperaturecontrolled water cooling for gearbox oil cooler, water-cooled screw and feed section; and fixed die support and thermal expansion capability. The QSE
Davis-Standard offers the Quick Screw Exchange technology for high temperature processing
Davis-Standard will market the benefits of its high-speed extrusion
• Battenfeld-Cincinnati will show a stand-alone conEX NG65 extruder and conEX NG54 in a co-extrusion set-up. The latter is mounted on a pedestal and combined with a twinEX 93EP as the main extruder. This new solution is suitable for a variety of options and can be adjusted to the location’s requirements, thanks to its modular system. In addition, conEX NG54 features an energy-saving kit with a synchronous motor and a variety of features that reduce energy use. • Germany’s Reifenhäuser will show its Evolution Ultra Die for barrier films, which combines benefits of stack dies and spiral mandrel designs to offer flow channels that are about 70% shorter than competitors. This allows processors to make quicker job changes for symmetric or asymmetric barrier structures. The die has a smaller diameter and is heated from both the inside and outside, which leads OCTOBER 2016
Technology/Machinery at K2016
Reifenhäuser’s Evolution die provides flexibility in the production of barrier film
Film/Sheet/Cast Extrusion • Germany’s Windmöller & Hölscher (W&H) is keeping under wraps its new innovations but says it will continue to focus on the concept of Packaging 4.0, “showing how intelligent machines, integrated processes and intuitive handling are already increasing efficiency and flexibility of the production.” The family-owned company will also have an open house at its 3,000 sq m technology centre at its headquarters in Lengerich. Innovations include a new generation cast film line and machine demonstrations for printing, converting and blown film.
to shorter heat-up times for start-up of the line and change of raw materials. • Nordson will show a redesigned version of its widely used EDI Autoflex VI flat die that has increased “stroke” of the lip adjusting system by 43% without adding to response time, enabling it to correct a wider range of process variations, without need for manual intervention. The design is also smaller and more streamlined, simplifying disassembly and reducing the time for Nordson has increased the stroke of its lip adjusting system maintenance. • US firm Cloeren will display its next-generation EBR V (Edge Bead Reduction) die for extrusion coating/ laminating, of which it has installed more than 50 over the last five years. It will also exhibit what it says is the world’s widest NanoLayer system, comprising a 55-layer nanoLayer feedblock paired with a 5,435-mm Epoch Die. The system is designed to produce third-generation nanolayer stretch films. Another exhibit is the patented moebius-manifold die, which features "revolutionary" internal geometry suited for processing residence time-sensitive resins like PVC. • Hosokawa Alpine will feature its patented X Die, now available in up to 11 layers. It will also display its TRIO (Trim Reduction for Inline Orientation) MDO system, which it says minimises neck-in and is said to reduce edge trim by 100% while producing a flatter film profile. Other exhibits are new winders and take-off units from subsidiary Hosokawa Kolb, and a new control system called ExVis.
W&H will focus on Packaging 4.0 at the show
• Reifenhäuser will exhibit Evolution Ultra Flat and Ultra Stretch, integrated with the haul-off to flatten and orient the film, respectively. With Ultra Flat, flatter lamination film can be printed more easily resulting in savings. The company has, since its launch two years ago, sold 20 lines worldwide. First presented as a prototype at K2013, Evolution Ultra Stretch now it provides an easy way for downgauging without sacrificing film properties. It enables the production of compression bag film that is 30% thinner; pre-stretched silage film that is 35% thinner and lowers investment costs for producing breathable films, compared to blown films with in-line MDO. • Davis-Standard’s popular dsX systems for extrusion coating, cast film and blown film processes have had a positive industry response due to a competitive advantage in price, performance and delivery, says the firm. The 450 m/minute-dsX flex-pack (extrusion coating) provides converters and printers an adaptable configuration for a variety of emerging applications, including salted snack and noodle bags, toothpaste tubes, personal care products, condiment packs and stand-up pouches. The dsX s-tretch (cast film) is the first all-in-one system of its kind for in-line, pre-stretch cast film processing. Integrated technology eliminates the need for traditional pre-stretching methods, resulting in thinner films, faster line speeds and improved film strength. Films as thin as 6 microns at speeds from 550-1,000 m/minute can be run in three, five and seven-layer configurations. As an added benefit, the dsX s-tretch has a narrow footprint for installation in tight spaces. It is also available with coreless winding to reduce waste.
Technology/Machinery at K2016 with a 13-layer feedblock and eight extruders including edge encapsulation for maximum outputs of 3,000 kg/hour. • Canada-based Macro will be featuring barrier film technology for shrink and non-shrink applications up to 13 layers with its newest MacroPack-FP die; microlayer technology up to 24 layers; foam technology in single layer or multilayer film and sheet applications; customised turret and surface winding systems from 750 mm to 8 m wide and high output PVC cling film.
Davis-Standard will promote its dsX lines
The dsX flex-film (blown film) is built to support applications like films for laminating and converting, bag making shrink film, hood shrink film, collation film, multi-unit packaging films, roll stock and surface print films. Unlike similar systems, processors can take advantage of upgrades that balance productivity against capital investment. This includes multiple extruder packages and options for greater efficiency. • India’s Rajoo Engineers will be the only Asian company to demonstrate live its Pentafoil five-layer all-PE blown film line, in a throwback to K2013 where a five-layer barrier film line was running, to commemorate its 30th anniversary. This line incorporates advancements in technology such as cylindrical spiral die (CSD), internal bubble cooling, circumferential profile control with elevated air ring and triple lip, full automatic winder and touchscreen-based supervisory control panel. It is packaged in an affordable price, Rajoo says. With a maximum output of 650 kg/hour, the line can produce PE film in the thickness range of 30-250 microns. • Austrian firm SML will exhibit its PowerCast, a 4 m-wide (8-up) stretch film line for hand, machine and jumbo roll production. It is equipped
SML’s focus will be on its PowerCast line
• Italy-based Bandera will run the TechnoFlex Plus five-layer line, flexible enough to switch seamlessly between both all-polyolefin and barrier film structures. Among the new features of the system is a control package that controls the material dosing and automatically makes changes in film formats. • Germany-based Brückner Maschinenbau will display for the first time a biaxially oriented line for PET (BOPET) film with a working width to 10.4 m, boasting 20% higher output than the normal 8.7 m width, and speeds to 515 m/minute. In BOPP, Brückner will show a newly designed sliding system for transversely stretched film that offers line speed to more than 600 m/minute. At the same time, new materials for the sliding system are said reduce the need for lubrication by more than 50%. These materials are also available on a retrofit basis. • US firm Addex will show a new cooling technology said to increase output by 40-60%. Called ICE (Intensive Cooling Experience), the patent-pending unit consists of a series of cooling rings arranged in a stackable configuration around the bubble. Each of these rings directs divergent air flow along the bubble, both upward and downward, to provide high film-holding forces and peak cooling efficiency. These cooling elements are assembled using spacer pipes that also provide a common feed of cooling air to each cooling ring. The stack mounts above the top of the die. Each ring provides a 10-15% increase in output versus using conventional dual-flow air rings. Addex will launch its ICE cooling technology OCTOBER 2016
Advancing industry with the power of small With carbon nanotubes (CNTs), the market is closer to having an environmentalfriendly nanomaterial that possesses ideal properties – superior strength, speed, flexibility, lightweight and thinness – all rolled into one, says Angelica Buan in this report.
Super material captured from carbon emissions Greenhouse gas emissions have been going up and are projected to spiral to 500 parts per million (ppm) at the end of this century. It is for this reason that scientists are looking at ways of reusing the massive amounts of CO2 to produce carbon nanotubes (CNTs), which are tiny tubes consisting of rolled up sheets of graphene, 10,000 times thinner than a human hair, 100 times stronger than steel but only one-sixth as heavy. In 2009, a research team from George Washington University (GWU), led by Chemistry Professor Stuart Licht, introduced a solar process that can convert atmospheric CO2 into highly valued carbon nanofibres. The solar thermal electrochemical process (STEP) makes use of the full spectrum of sunlight and thus captures more solar energy than the most efficient solar cell or photoelectrochemical processes, the group said. This breakthrough is now being eyed for application to CO2 emissions of power plants, according to the GWU researchers who initially focused the study on the combined cycle (CC) natural gas power plants, which are the most efficient kind of electrical power plant yet still emit massive amounts of CO2. The process can be undertaken by adding a molten lithium carbonate electrolyser to a conventional CC plant, creating a CC carbon nanofibre (CC CNF) plant. Using electrolysis, CO2 is split into oxygen gas and solid CNFs; and adding in small quantities of nickel, causes CNFs to be hollow, forming CNTs.
To make sure that it is feasible, in a new study, the same researchers performed a thermodynamic assessment of the proposed CC CNF plant. They found that the concept is economically feasible and even improves the power plants' energy efficiency. Using the new method, the researchers also estimate that it would cost just US$2,000/tonne to produce CNTs, which is less than 1% of current production costs. In view of this, the researchers are working to build and implement the technology rapidly. High-valued commodity CNTs are normally categorised as either singlewall nanotubes (SWNT), with a diameter of about a nanometre; or multi-wall nanotubes (MWNT), with diameter ranging from 5 to 50 nanometres. The basic materials used to produce CNTs are iron, cobalt, hydrogen, ceramic catalysts and gases such as methane and acetylene hydrogen.
SWCNT and MWCNT growth is promising
CNT’s increasing adoption in end-use industries including polymers, electronics, energy, marine, aerospace and automotive, is driving its growth projected to reach an average of US$3.4 billion by 2022, as forecast by Grandview Research, projecting consumption to exceed 20,000 tonnes through the forecast period. By 2024, the CNT market is anticipated to balloon past US$ 8.1 billion, according to latest research report by Global Market Insights.
Carbon Nanotubes CNT market is including, but not limited to, structural and conductive polymer composites, conductive adhesives, fire retardant plastics, metal matrix composites, Li-Ion batteries. SWCNTs and MWCNTs serve end user industries, such as aerospace & defence, energy, sporting goods, automotive, industrial, and electrical & electronics, and others. Growth market regions are led by Asia Pacific as the largest, accounting for more than 40% of global volume in 2014, Grandview Research says. It adds that China and India are prime movers, with their growing plastic and composite industries coupled with domestic demand and comparatively low manufacturing cost than in other matured regions. Moreover, the healthy performance of the electronics sector in China, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan will also make a positive mark on the CNT market in the coming years. Along the same vein, research specialist, Technavio, predicts that Asia’s prime lead in the embedded systems markets could bode well for CNT growth. It adds that the region represents 66% of the microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology in electronic products, an emerging application for CNTs. Ace material for flexible electronics Applications are diverse as CNTs prove to have more edge than popularly used materials like silicon and films like Indium tin oxide-(ITO) coated films used in touch screens, LCD displays, solar cells, organic light emitting diode (OLED), and other electronic displays. The potential of CNT as a viable material option for ITO-based films in flexible wearable electronics is what Japanese scientists from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology are developing, such as body sensors that could provide continuous monitoring of a person's blood pressure. The researchers reviewed the latest use of CNTs in manufacturing as an important component of optoelectronic devices called transparent conductive films (TCFs). The latter are thin films of a material that is optically transparent and electrically conductive and a key component of everyday gizmos: smartphones, tablets, laptops, and flat screens as well as solar cells. The market for TCFs is expected to reach US$1.2 billion by 2025. Currently, electronic gadgets are manufactured using ITOs, which has excellent electrical conductive properties but poor flexibility, making it unsuitable for wearable devices. Plus, it is also expensive to source and process. CNTs, which exhibit high theoretical electrical conductivity, are an appealing alternative, cost-wise, due to their commercialisation for applications such as water filtration systems, sports equipment, and batteries and conductors. Prices could be lowered further by improving manufacturing processes, according to researchers Ying Zhou and Reiko Azumi.
0 10 Pristine
Hybridization with metal nanowires
Progress towards CNT-based transparent conductive films (Credit: Ying Zhou and Reiko Azumi)
“Sensing devices, such as wearable touch panels, are the most promising application for CNT-based TCFs. Two companies in Japan are already using CNTs to manufacture touch panels for mobile electronics,” the researchers said. They explained that OLEDs, which are already used to manufacture thinner, lighter and more efficient TV screens, are another promising application for CNT-based TCFs. But other materials used in their manufacture, such as metal nanowires, have higher conductivity and transparency and thus result in a better performance. “Based on the overview of the fabrication, properties and possible applications of CNT-based TCFs, it can be concluded that current CNT-based TCFs still do not meet the demands of performance/cost for industrial use,” the researchers wrote in their review published in the Science and Technology of Advanced Materials journal. Manufacturing costs need to be reduced while their conductivity and transparency need to be improved, they said, recommending further enhancement of CNTbased TCFs. Outshining silicon in transistor applications But there is one area where CNTs have been proven. According to University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers, CNT transistors outperform silicon transistors, achieving a current that is 1.9 times higher. The team, led by Michael Arnold and Padma Gopalan, UW–Madison Professors of Materials Science and Engineering, says that this breakthrough in performance is advancement towards exploiting CNTs in logic, high-speed communications, and other semiconductor electronics technologies. Moreover, it could usher the replacement of silicon transistors for the computer industry. “The new transistors are particularly promising for wireless communications technologies that require a lot of current flowing across a relatively small area,” Arnold adds. CNT transistors should be able to perform five times faster or use five times less energy than silicon transistors, according to extrapolations from single nanotube measurements. The nanotube’s ultra-small dimension makes it possible to rapidly change a current signal traveling across it, which could lead to substantial gains in the bandwidth of wireless communications devices. OCTOBER 2016
UW–Madison has used a solution process to deposit aligned arrays of CNTs onto substrates, paving the way for CNT transistors to replace silicon transistors, particularly promising for wireless communications technologies
The UW–Madison team used polymers to selectively sort out the semiconducting nanotubes, achieving a solution of ultra-highpurity semiconducting CNTs, and thus solving the challenge of isolating purely CNTs (because metallic nanotube impurities act like copper wires and disrupt their semiconducting properties). “We have identified specific conditions in which you can get rid of nearly all metallic nanotubes, where we have less than 0.01 % metallic nanotubes,” says Arnold. The team also surmounted the challenge of nanotube alignment, with just the right spacing, when assembled on a wafer. Thus, the researchers developed a technique, called “floating evaporative self-assembly,” that gives them placement and alignment control of the nanotubes. The nanotubes must make good electrical contacts with the metal electrodes of the transistor. Because the polymer the UW–Madison researchers use to isolate the semiconducting nanotubes also acts like an insulating layer between the nanotubes and the electrodes, the team “baked” the nanotube arrays in a vacuum oven to remove the insulating layer, resulting in excellent electrical contacts to the nanotubes. The researchers also developed a treatment that removes residues from the nanotubes after they’re processed in solution. The team is also working on adapting their device to match the geometry used in silicon transistors, “which get smaller with each new generation”. Moreover, they are also developing high-performance radio frequency amplifiers that may be able to boost a cell phone signal. While the researchers have already scaled their alignment and deposition process to 1 in. x 1 in. wafers, they are working on scaling the process up for commercial production.
Strengthening composite polymers for aerospace use Meanwhile, the largest application segment for CNT is polymers, accounting for over 60% of global CNT market volume in 2014, according to Grandview Research. CNT as a filler reinforces polymers in composites for better electrical, thermal and mechanical strength of the end product. Armed with improved properties for heavy duty performance but much lighter weight, composites reinforced with CNTs find ideal applications in the aerospace sector. But composite materials are also surprisingly vulnerable. While aluminium can withstand relatively large impacts before cracking, the many layers in composites can break apart due to relatively small impacts. Now, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) aerospace engineers have found a way to bond composite layers in such a way that the resulting material is substantially stronger and more resistant to damage than other advanced composites. MIT engineers fastened the layers of composite materials together using CNTs. They embedded tiny “forests” of CNTs within a glue-like polymer matrix, then pressed the matrix between layers of carbon fibre composites. The nanotubes, resembling tiny, vertically-aligned stitches, worked themselves within the crevices of each composite layer, serving as a scaffold to hold the layers together. In experiments to test the material’s strength, the team found that compared with existing composite materials the stitched composites were 30% stronger, withstanding greater forces before breaking apart. This work was supported by Airbus Group, Boeing, Embraer, Lockheed Martin, Saab AB, Spirit AeroSystems Inc., Textron Systems, ANSYS, Hexcel, and TohoTenax through MIT's Nano-Engineered Composite aerospace STructures (NECST) Consortium and, in part, by the US Army. Though further work needs to be done, MIT says the improvement may lead to stronger, lighter airplane parts, particularly those that require nails or bolts that can crack conventional composites, generating savings in fuel and costs.
MIT engineers have found a way to bond composite layers that may lead to stronger, lighter airplane parts
Indonesia: market strength in numbers 260 million may just be a number, but for eagle eyed global investors this is the figure that makes for a lucrative market base, says Angelica Buan, in this report, after speaking to exhibitors at the recently concluded Indoplas/Indoprint show in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Population: an advantage point Currently, one of the world’s most populous countries, Indonesia is also trekking the road to becoming the fourth largest economy by 2050, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. The country’s 260-million population makes it a fertile investment ground, a common view held among exhibitors interviewed at Indoplas. The three-day show, jointly organised by Messe Düsseldorf Asia (MDA) and PT Wahana Kemalaniaga Makmur (Wakeni), housed 400 companies, representing 20 countries or 60% of exhibitors from the international market, with five national pavilions and groups from China, Germany, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. According to Gernot Ringling, Managing Director of MDA, the show’s huge turnout is reflective of how the exhibition is as a “model platform for industry players’ business growth; as well an ideal gateway into the Southeast Asian region.”
Indonesia's 260-million population makes it a fertile investment ground
Packaging a top-billed sector Of the industries demonstrating an uptrend, the Food and Beverage (F&B) sector maintains its trajectory. Statistic Indonesia (BPS) cites that soft drink sales are projected to reach a 9.3% CAGR from 2014-2018. Packaged food, fresh produce and ready-to-drink beverages are just a few of the items that will spur the demand for packaging, according to consulting firm CEKINDO. This year, the industry is projected to grow by 5-6% to over US$6 billion, according to the Indonesia Packaging Federation (IPF), owing to the country’s market size with improving purchasing power and growing F&B industry output, among other drivers. “Indonesia’s growth market is in multi packaging,” said Raymond Wong, Malaysia-based Area Sales Manager of Austrian recycling equipment firm NGR. Parth N Chokshi, Senior Manager of Export Sales of India-based manufacturer of blown film and sheet extrusion lines Rajoo Engineers, agrees that Indonesia’s market charm is anchored to its population. “Most of the plastic processing units are catering to multinational brands and that is why we think there is a good growth market here.” The 30-year old Rajoo offers not only extrusion but also thermoforming and pipe/profile machines. “Our machines are 100% made In India, but we collaborate with technical partners from the Parth N Chokshi of US (Commodore), Germany Rajoo acknowledges (Hosokawa Alpine) and Italy the benefit of firming (Bausano),” Chokshi adds. Though up market presence in the company supplies to over 60 Indonesia countries, including Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Philippines, Chokshi relates that Rajoo has yet to firm up its presence in Indonesia. Neighbouring countries align with trade Meanwhile, Thailand, which some exhibitors are also placing on a rival footing with Indonesia as a lucrative investment spot in the region, is eyeing Indonesia not as a competitor but as a growth partner. Vichien Sriswasdi, Director of the Thai Tool and Die Industry Association (TDIA), points to Indonesia’s population as a positive factor. “While we look at every country as Thailand’s potential market, as every country has its potentials, Indonesia’s edge comes from its population, among its other assets. Thailand only has a population of 70 million.” OCTOBER 2016
Country Focus Indonesia needs to improve on infrastructure, among other areas, to support its market potentials, according to Vichien Sriswasdi of TDIA
Nevertheless, Indonesia needs to improve on other aspects to support its market potentials, such as power infrastructure and roads, to cite a few areas. Sriswasdi, who is also Managing Director of Chonburibased company Srithai Moulds is positive and opined that these challenges can be overcome over a ten-year period. The 400-member TDIA was represented at the show by eight firms, with participation supported by both the Thai government and the association, Sriswasdi said. “Invasion” of sorts by South Koreans An operating base to some 2,200 South Korean firms, Indonesia is an important market for South Korea, its fourth largest foreign investor and major consumer of oil, gas, coal and rubber. In the first quarter of 2016, South Korean Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) was valued at US$188 million. Almost 14 South Korean companies were at the show. Growth in South Korea’s plastics industry has plateaued, and thus, the interest by exhibitors in markets in the region. Seoul-headquartered extrusion machinery manufacturer KorMc is branching out globally and views Indonesia as an advantageous platform to start from, according to Managing Director Il-Kyoung Kim. “We are tapping into the Indonesian market to meet the needs of specific customers who IK Kim of KorMc is require quality blow moulding eyeing pharmaceutical and cosmetic machines, particularly for packaging customers pharmaceutical and cosmetic packaging.” Compounds/additives manufacturer Chemko was also a first time exhibitor at an Indonesian show. Company representative Sunwoo Lee said, “We see packaging as one of the most promising industries in Indonesia.” The Chungcheongnam-do-sited company has mostly focused on South Korea as well as Taiwan and China. “In Southeast Asia, Indonesia is the first market we are tapping,” Lee revealed. Meanwhile, the additives market is competitive since large global companies take a lion’s share, but Lee was confident the show would give the company the leverage it requires amidst a competitive scenario. “Venturing Chemko's Sunwoo Lee into the overseas market is sees that packaging competitive, but many opportunities is one of Indonesia's are opening up,” Lee said. promising sectors
Fitting market for Germany Germany has been a strong trade partner for Indonesia, with US$875 million worth of investments in the areas of energy, telecommunication, consumer, agribusiness, and industrial sectors in Indonesia. In the first quarter of this year alone, Indonesia secured US$20 billion investment commitments from European companies. The Indonesian trade show, which hosted the German pavilion comprising 21 companies, is a gateway for these companies, especially for mid-sized organisations that serve as the backbone of the country’s economy to expand their reach Andrew Ettle talks about the into overseas growth printing technologies offered by markets. W&H German extrusion machinery exhibitor Windmöller & Hölscher (W&H) was promoting its Miraflex C for flexographic printing featuring a redesigned rear frame and tunnel, more robust printing decks and automatic cleaning of the impression cylinder; as well as Dynastar, a new-generation gravure printing machine for flexible packaging, specially developed for short and ultra-short print runs of under 3,000 m. A new feature is the changeable cylinder concept with slide-in carts, allowing for the possibility of making preparations for the next print job while the machine is still running. “The job changeover time is half that of the quick-change gravure printing presses commonly used today,” said Andrew Ettle, W&H Area Sales Manager (Gravure & Flexo Printing Machines). He also emphasised other features like print widths of 650/820 mm, a repeat print length range of 320-700 mm, and a speed of 300 m/minute, as Joachim Oberbauer well as 6 to 12 colour decks. gave a round-up of Hosokawa Alpine's Another German extrusion technologies like the machinery firm Hosokawa Alpine was promoting its new "X" die. Said "X" die Joachim Oberbauer, Head of Sales Division Asia, “It is the most technologically advanced die available on the market.” It was also promoting a five-layer blown film line for barrier films with PA and EVOH; MDO film orientation line featuring the patented TRIO (Trim Reduction Inline Orientation); and a turret winder that has reduced floor space requirements. Meanwhile, Europe’s largest machinery association VDMA made its presence at the exhibition covering plastics and rubber, paper and printing technology as well as industrial (plastics, foil, 3D, wood) and graphic printing (cotton and paper). Sven Breitung, from VDMA’s printing and paper division, commented: “Indonesia is a growing market whereas Germany’s growth is stable at the moment, with 1 to 2%
Country Focus VDMA's Sven Breitung considers Indonesia's young population as an advantage
“examination of mass exchange processes in the printing of rubber and polymer materials to ensure low-migration in food-grade production processes.” These innovations will bring benefits to markets like Indonesia, he said.
growth every year. Likewise, the machine manufacturing sector right now is almost zero growth, so we are always looking for new markets.” Sven also pointed out that there are about 400 German companies related to VDMA’s sectors based in Indonesia. New technologies for Indonesia Recycling equipment maker NGR is pushing into the Indonesian market its Liquid State Polycondensation (LSP) technology and P:REACT process. “This technology opens up a lot of possibilities for both end-users and manufacturers of the products so that they are able to get more recycled material,” Wong said, adding that Indonesia has “a lot of activities and projects coming up, and leads ahead of Thailand and Vietnam in terms of interests solicited over the past six months.” VDMA’s Sven says the packaging industry is a strong performing sector. “Indonesia has a young population, and this gives it a demand advantage.” Thus, VDMA is pushing other technologies for the packaging sector because graphic printing on paper like in magazines and newspapers NGR's Wong said there is no longer a big market due are indicators that the country is steering to alternative ahead of Thailand and online media. Vietnam “Hence, we are rethinking as to how the entire industry can shift to a different direction. While we continue to print on packaging, packaging machines will be a main focus. Other technologies like 3D printing, organic and printed electronics, functional materials for OLEDs and lighting for displays, RFID tags and other electronic products are also taking their share of niche markets.” Other focus sectors are energyefficient machinery and migration mechanisms, which deal with the
Wiwiek Roberto PT Pamerindo Indonesia Jakarta T: +62 21 2525 320 F: +62 21 2525 482 E: email@example.com www.pamerindo.com
Carolyn Lee International Expo Management Pte Ltd Singapore T: +65 6233 6777 F: +65 6233 6768 E: firstname.lastname@example.org www.allworldexhibitions.com
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Injection Moulding Asia Machinery/Technology at K2016 • Austria’s Engel will have eight exhibits at its booth and a further ten at partners. A 500-tonne E-speed hybrid model will be combined with IML, decorating long, thinwall hollow cartridges with extreme L/D ratio and 1.2 mm-wall thickness, said to be a first. The machine now comes with Ecodrive servo-hydraulics as standard and is optimised for additional speed and faster acceleration/ deceleration. Easicell will be shown in the DecoJect IMD application, to replace painting PP automotive interior parts for cost savings of up to 14%. It involves roll-toroll feeding of a TPO film through the mould, where it is sucked in by vacuum, preheated by a robot carrying an IR panel, and back-injected with PP and trimmed by a punch action in the mould. Another IMD application will be using a paint-transfer film from Kurz, demonstrated with an organosheet composite laptop cover that is both overmoulded and decorated in the same cycle. It will use Engel’s Variomelt hot/cold moulding process, and after moulding, a UV cure fully hardens the paint for scratch resistance.
Machinery • Germany-based Arburg will have 27 machines on show at partner booths, with 12 on its own stand. A 100-tonne electric Allrounder Golden Electric entry level machine series, with a size 290 injection unit, which made its debut in March, will be producing a technical part. Profoam physical foaming will be producing an automotive application. Dynamic mould temperature control will be used to produce a highgloss surface. An innovative cube mould technology designed for multi-component packaging will be presented, as well as the two-component moulding of a wristwatch from two different LSRs. Another highlight will be a high-speed application for medical technology, where a clean room version of an electric Allrounder 470A will be used. Michael Hehl, Managing Partner and spokesperson for Arburg says the firm will have a whole gamut of machinery including the electric Allrounder Golden Electric entry level machine series that made its debut in March as well as other “surprises that we like to keep an ace up our sleeve”
In many applications, only the integrated moulding process makes it possible to bond thermoplastics and LSR together in stable layers. Pressure reservoir diaphragms used in pressure compensation vessels are an example for this, made using tiebar-less Engel Victory
• Making their debut at Canadian Husky Injection Molding Systems’s booth will be new integrated solutions such as HyCAP 4 that will run 1.25-g 29/25 closures for a mineral water application in a 2.4-second cycle and a speciality closure system producing 6.1-g flip-top closures for shampoo bottles, in under 8.5 seconds. Integrated will be eIMC in-mould closing technology, which enables better part quality and 20% cycle time improvement. At its experience centre it will showcase multi-layer barrier technology, including examples of existing and future applications. Introduced in 2015, the technology is built on the HyPET HPP5 platform, combining benefits of an easy-to-maintain system with precise dosing of the barrier layer. It will also show medical moulds by Schöttli.
• Highlights from German firm KraussMaffei will be the GXW 650-2000 Colorform, combining moulding and reaction process in a single cycle; thermoplastic resin transfer moulding (TRTM) demonstrating an automotive fibre compound structural component with metal inlays under series production conditions. Frames for the roof shell of the Roding Roadster R1 sports car will be created. Also at the show will be its extended CX small two-platen machines with servo-hydraulics, with models from 200-420 tonnes, revamped clamp for up to 40% additional energy savings and a new oil filter said to extend oil life by 25%.
• US firm Milacron Holdings, having re-entered the PET machine market in 2015, will display M-PET 300 servo-hydraulic PET system with its preform tooling. It will also showcase Klear Can recyclable multi-layer plastic can, running on a Ferromatik 280, integrated with Mold-Masters iM2 48-zone controller, IML from CBW and inspection system from IMD. Meanwhile, its K-tec machine will mould two-component PET preforms with cosmetic finish partnering with MuCell and Foboha cube mould technology. Another upgraded Elektron Evolution will be equipped with the new linear robot and E-multi injection unit to mould a “crinkle box”.
KraussMaffei will show the production of frames for the roof shell of the Roding Roadster R1 sports car
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Injection Moulding Asia Machinery/Technology at K2016 • Swiss firm Netstal will launch a 750-tonne Elios, which according to Euromap offers the fastest dry cycle in its size. It will be shown producing 43,000 domed lids/hour with a part weight of 2.8 g in a 24+24 stack mould and 4 second-cycle. It will also exhibit injection-compression moulding (ICM) with a stack mould on an Elion 280-tonne hybrid press, for thinwall moulding with reduced injection-pressure and clamp-force requirements and stresses and warpage in the parts. Material savings of up to 20% and total unitNetstal is presenting injectioncost reduction of up to 10% compression moulding are claimed. technology in a stack mould
• Sumitomo (SHI) Demag under the Electrified 4.0 slogan will present its smallest 500-tonne allelectric IntElect running a new consumer packaging application, while what it says is the fastest IML exhibit, El-Exis SP200 hybrid press, will be producing four PP cups in less than 2 seconds. An El-Exis SP420 hybrid machine will be producing PP trays on a 2 + 2 stack mould. The company also will show an IMD application for automotive door trim that creates a wood appearance and also allows for backlighting with a film from Kurz.
• Germany’s Boy will showcase its patent-pending Multi-Drive drive concept on a 24-cavity 100E machine producing caps for mineral water bottles. Features are: two servomotor-driven pumps can be used parallel to or with each other while the interplay of both hydraulic drives can reproduce the functionality of an all-electric machine.
Sumitomo Demag’s hybrid machine will be making IML cups
• Wittmann Battenfeld will present for the first time its Combimould process on a machine from the servohydraulic SmartPower series. A 180-tonne, 8-cavity model will mould caps made of thermoplastic and LSR.
• Austria’ rubber machine maker Maplan will have a new machine design and C6000.web/C600.web controller. Apart from the aesthetics, making its debut is “Smart light” multi-coloured indicator lights with alarms. Meanwhile, the MTF1500/250 vertical machine has a reduced height of 935 mm, with better accessibility to tooling, and a new FEM-clamping unit. A new MHF700D/300 horizontal machine will be equipped with a cold runner mould from Stampi, while MTTF-C 30 will be shown with a TPE injection unit that can be pivoted to the side. This enables the screw to be replaced easily, for fast material or colour changes.
• Haitian China will have three new machines including the “P” (packaging) version of the Venus II all-electric series, with a square platen and a modified machine bed to handle heavy moulds. A 300-tonne model will mould an IML cup in 4.4 seconds. Its new two-platen Jupiter II plus series boasts faster clamp movements, new linear guides that eliminate lubricant and friction on the tie-bars, optimised platen and a new Keba controller. Meanwhile, its all-electric Zhafir Zeres will make its debut at the K. It has a servodriven-hydraulic pump for core pulls, ejectors and nozzle touch. • German firm Windsor will present for the first time at K, Taiwanese FCS (Fu Chun Shin) machines, after having entered into an agreement with FCS has committed to build hydraulic and servo-hydraulic machines according to European standards. A 150-tonne servo-hydraulic SD-150SV machine will be producing a transparent assortment box in PP.
Maplan’s vertical MTF range has a reduced operating height plus a new concept for the clamping unit
Windsor will show an FCS servo-hydraulic machine
• Another rubber machine maker Desma will show its S3 series with robot integration and the newly developed e-drive cold runner system. It will also showcase its platform for digital solutions, SmartConnect 4.U, which networks machines, components, applications and systems. 2 O C TO B E R 2 016
Injection Moulding Asia Machinery/Technology at K2016 • Italy’s Negri Bossi will show its new-generation allelectric Project ELE, designed for packaging and medical markets. Featuring a new “smart flex 2” clamp, with toggle geometry designed specifically for electric closing, the machines also come with the Tactum multi-touch controller.
• Austrian LSR dosing systems provider Elmet will have a new Top5000P multi-component dosing system at its stand. Elsewhere, Engel will produce a pressure reservoir diaphragm on a tiebar-less Victory multi-component machine. After injection of the core and frame of glass fibre-reinforced PBT, a robot transfers it to Elmet’s LSR tools with needle valve. Momentive will produce a two-colour egg cup, with only one dosing system, on Arburg’s one-component machine. At Boy, Elmet will demonstrate a 128-cavity LSR tool where each cavity is injected by a cold runner nozzle, creating no scrap.
3D printing/Additive Manufacturing • Arburg will present the Freeformer, launched at K2013, with updates such as an optimised build chamber with improved air and temperature control. A material dryer is also optionally available, integrated in the machine control system, plus maintenance intervals for the discharge system have been significantly extended. New applications, materials and parts will be presented on a total of three Freeformers. • German silicones company Wacker Chemie says up till now “there is no mature 3D printing technology available for silicones”. It will show the Aceo Imagine Series K printer. Based on a drop-on-demand method developed by Wacker, it deposits tiny drops of silicone on a water-soluble substrate. The silicone is formulated so that the Wacker will showcase the droplets flow together prior first industrial-scale 3D to UV-activated curing. printer for silicones The use of water-soluble materials allows overhangs and internal lattices. It is said to print considerably faster and with contact-less technology enables freedom in design. The printer is targeted at healthcare, transportation, rapid prototyping, electronics/optics, automotive and aerospace industries.
Arburg’s Allrounder 470A will be processing in the 4+4 cavity mould, with Elmet’s needle valve and rotating core beam, Momentive’s LSR to produce a two-colour egg cup
• French tooling specialist RocTool will showcase its new HD (High Definition) Plastics approach on a KraussMaffei CX 160-750 with a double-cavity tool from GF Machining Solutions, and with laser texturing. In partnership with Flex and Arburg, RocTool will also present its IDH (Induction Dual Heating) technology that combines the forming of a composite sheet and over-moulding of thermoplastic in the same process. It will be shown producing a 1-mm computer cover, in a supposedly 1 minute cycle/part. • German firm Ewikon will display its new micromanifold for high-cavity medical and closure applications. The standard main manifold is on one level with each of its drops feeding a balanced micromanifold on a second level with four screwed-in, heat-conductive tip inserts, each having a flow-channel diameter of 3 mm and a melt seal at the gate. The four gates in the micro-manifold have one heating circuit, simplifying wiring and control circuits.
Tooling • Mold-Masters’ new, premium hot runner line Summit is said to have four times less thermal variation from set point, compared to the typical thermal variation seen in a nozzle with a heater band. The nozzle profile positively affects balance and is especially effective for medical sectors where precision is paramount. It has also enhanced features in the Fusion G2 series for automotive and large-part moulding. An extended nozzle length range provides more flexibility while the compound nozzle can be used to avoid interferences with cavity cooling lines, and position nozzles in very tight pockets. New additions to Fusion G2 include high performance water-cooled gate inserts plus additional new gating methods designed specifically for certain resins. Furthermore, its new Dura+ hot runner for lighting applications features smarter angled manifold designs for easier installations and reduced cost on mould machining.
• Heitec Hot Runner Systems will showcase the X-Slim nozzle for larger shot weights, compared to its SlimLine nozzle, while retaining a small installation bore diameter. It is also said to have the largest ratio of flow channel diameter to installation bore diameter on the market. Three models have flow channels from 4.5-8 mm and installation bore diameters of 11-20 mm, with hot tip or valve gates from 50-300 mm. • Italy’s HRSflow, which is part of Inglass, will show its latest Ecoflow hot runner boasting 25% reduced energy use and system size, in terms of weight and volume. Others are the Flexflow electric servodriven-valve gate system where a control unit is not required. 3
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Injection Moulding Asia Machinery/Technology at K2016 • PSG Plastic Service presents its ProfiTemp hot runner control, with a small footprint, extended range of functions and touchscreen operation. It also has a new reflector nozzle for narrow cutouts, supplementing the previous cascade control Variofill and offers benefits of a sensor and variable opening speed of needles for better process control.
it will have a new linear robot LRX TwinZ for complex stack mould applications, the servopicker SPX 10, as well as a mobile industrial robot integrated with Multisubmit control function. KraussMaffei’s LRX Twin for complex stack mould applications
• Wittmann Battenfeld will display its new R9 robot controller and a re-engineered IML work cell for fast label changes.
PSG Plastic Service will present the new hot runner control
• Swiss firm Priamus System Technologies says in its Fillcontrol automatic valve gate control for hot and cold runners it is possible to position and control the pins in the corresponding valve gates directly as a function of melt flow. Thus, multi-cavity moulds can be balanced without having to change the nozzle temperatures of hot runners, especially for LSR material. The automatic detection of the melt front enables the different filling times for each cavity to be analysed and balanced. A precondition is the connection of the system via an interface. For the balancing of thermoplastic multi-cavity moulds, valve gate controls of Synventive are suitable while for applications in LSR moulding, it recommends ACH Hefner’s servo-shot system.
• French supplier Sepro will have eight robots including a new 7X-100XL five-axis Cartesian beam robot and 6X-400 six-axis articulated-arm robot, developed in a partnership with Japan’s Yaskawa Motoman. It’s the largest of four models introduced recently for machines from 800-5,000 tonnes, completing four smaller six-axis models developed with Staubli. Two new small robots to Sepro’s new five-axis Cartesian beam be featured include robot a three-axis robot called the Success 5, and an S5 servodriven-sprue picker.
Automation/Robotics • With the focus on Industry 4.0 at the show this year, Arburg will present a smart factory linking a vertical Allrounder 375V, a Freeformer and a seven-axis robot. A number of its exhibits will have robots, from simple pickers to six-axis robots featuring the Selogica user interface and complex turnkey systems. A new Multilift robot will also be introduced.
• In a team up with Hekuma, Engel will show an automation cell for a new interdental brush process, with up to 500 bristles moulded, in a shot weight of 1.93 g, in single-component moulding together with the core and grip. Until now, interdental brushes have consisted of three component moulding of the grip, wire mesh, and filaments. Now, it’s done in one shot with no metal insert. The compound contains glass fibres that stiffen the grip and core but do not penetrate the very delicate bristle areas. Hekuma’s Hekuflex automation demoulds the brushes, presents the parts for camera inspection, packs them into retail sales bags, 16 pieces each. Engel will use its 170-tonne all-electric Emotion with eightcavity mould from Hack Formenbau; iQ weight control to analyse pressure profile at screw positions; iQ clamp control to monitor mould breathing for each shot and adjust clamp force as well as e-flomo for constant temperature control.
• Engel will introduce a four-axis Scara robot, an extension of the easix line, which previously consisted of six-axis models. Advantages are higher speed at lower cost for pick-and-place, stacking, and palletising. Based on Staubli hardware, it can be integrated with Engel’s CC300 machine controller. Also new is a servosprue picker based on the e-pic robot from 2014. It combines a linear vertical axis with a vertical swivel arm, but has no horizontal axis like the e-pic. Instead, it rotates up to 110 degrees on its pedestal. • KraussMaffei will highlight its expanded APC (Adaptive Process Control) Plus, which detects process fluctuations caused by changing ambient conditions or fluctuating viscosity, and takes measures. It is now suitable for multi-component moulding and LSR, as well as provides new features, such as taking into account specific behaviours of raw materials. In terms of robots,
Engel will team up with Hekuma in a brush application, said to be a world’s first
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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News • Sweden’s Trelleborg has acquired International Tyre and Wheel Solutions (ITWS) to complement its recent acquisition of Mitas pneumatic construction tyres. It allows the company to provide a broad offering in both pneumatic and solid tyres across Europe, Middle East and Africa. ITWS is a privately-owned company based in the UK that distributes large solid off-the-road (OTR) tyres for the waste, recycling and demolition industries. In a move to increase its presence in the Midwestern US, Trelleborg has finalised its purchase of the US-based privately-owned Anderson Seal that specialises in the distribution and service of seals, gaskets and custom-moulded products for OEMs in several industries. • China’s fifth largest tyre manufacturing company, Sentury Tire, has selected Georgia as the site of its car and light truck tyre facility in North America. It will invest US$530 million and create over 1,000 jobs. As a further investment in the facility, Sentury is planning to incorporate an R&D centre that will employ 100 technical personnel. Production is expected to begin in 2018 and will build up to the company’s projected manufacturing capacity of 12 million passenger and light truck tyres. About 70% of Sentury Tire’s sales are in the EU and US. Its parent company, Qingdao Sentury Tire, employs 2,500 people worldwide and currently has manufacturing operations in China and Thailand. • Enerco RPO Internasional, a subsidiary of Singapore-based Enerco Chemical, will develop a rubber oil refinery in Batam, Riau Islands in Indonesia, with an investment of US$98.8
million. The facility will have a total production capacity of more than 100,000 tonnes of treated distillate aromatic extract (TDAE) rubber oil/ year with a technology owned by national private companies partnering with state-owned firms. Enerco will partner with US-based ExxonMobil to support raw material supplies from Singapore. A partnership agreement, for the overseas marketing and distribution of the rubber oil products, has also been signed with Sumitomo Corporation Asia and Oceania. • India’s Reliance Industries and US-based Vorbeck Materials, a producer of graphene and graphene-based products, are partnering to develop graphene-enhanced synthetic elastomer products. Born out of a Princeton Research Lab, Vorbeck’s patented technology is based on single-atom thick graphene sheets, with applications for antennas, RFID, wearables, next generation battery development, composites, and conductive inks. • Reliance Sibur Elastomer, a unit of Reliance Industries, is taking a ten-year term loan of US$3 billion “to part finance the capital expenditure to set up India’s first butyl rubber manufacturing facility in Jamnagar,” Reliance said in a regulatory filing. Reliance Sibur Elastomer is a joint venture between Reliance (74.9%) and Russian gas processing and petrochemicals company Sibur (25.1%). The firms signed an agreement in 2012 for the development of the facility in India with a capacity of 120,000 tonnes/year. • US-based Cabot is forming a joint venture with China’s Hengyecheng Silicone, which
is part of Zhejiang Zhongcheng Holding Group, to manufacture fumed silica in China. Cabot will hold an 80% share and HYC will own the remaining 20%. The US$60 million facility to be located in Wuhai, will have a manufacturing capacity of 8,000 tonnes/year. Construction is expected to begin in early 2017 and will be completed in 2019. Cabot has had operations in China for almost 30 years, and currently operates four manufacturing sites in Shanghai, Xingtai, Jiangxi and Tianjin. The Wuhai plant will become Cabot’s seventh fumed silica plant in its network in Asia, Europe and the US. • China’s Tian’an Silicone Tech, a supplier of solid silicone rubber (SSR), liquid silicone rubber (LSR), silicone oil and curing agent, is increasing its capacity of SSR to 15,000 tonnes, which will be a 50% increase in productivity compared with that of 2015. It has three production lines of SSR of 10,000 tonnes/year and one production line for LSR of 2,000 tonnes/year. • US styrenics maker Trinseo is closing its latex facility in Italy by the year-end, due to a decline in the graphical paper market. The company expects the move to cost it around US$24 million in pre-tax, non-recurring charges, including some US$15 million. The global latex market has been suffering from a decline in the coated paper sector and Trinseo has tried to offset by cutting costs and capacity. As part of an initiative to reduce costs by US$5 million in 2016, it shut its styrene butadiene latex plant in the US at the end of 2015. Last month, Trinseo, formerly Styron and part of Dow Chemical, sold its Brazilian latex binders operation to Qoppar Participacoes. In others news, Bain Capital, which bought Trinseo in 2010,
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Rubber Journal Asia Industry News has sold all its remaining shares in the company. With the sale of more than 10 million shares, it has completely exited the company. With this, Trinseo said, it has reached a milestone as a fully public company. The sale concluded Bain’s formal investment in Trinseo, and completes a process that began
when Bain helped lead Trinseo’s corporate formation and subsequent IPO in June of 2014. Trinseo’s President/CEO Chris Pappas said, “We have had an exciting journey over the past six years – from carve-out and spin-off, to private equity ownership, to IPO on the NYSE, and now full independence as a
public company. This moment is the culmination of the plans Bain Capital and Trinseo set forth, and it is truly exciting to see it realised.” Trinseo had approximately US$4 billion in revenue in 2015, with 18 manufacturing sites around the world, and more than 2,200 employees.
Materials News • The rubber glove industry has been showing a continuous chart of impressive growth for the past 20 years despite recent challenges, said Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers’ Association (MARGMA) President Denis Low Jau Foo. A 10% increase in global demand for rubber gloves is expected in 2016, with the demand rising to 212 billion pieces in 2016 from the previous 192 billion gloves in 2015. Malaysia is expected to fill 63% of the global demand, which effectively translates to a projected revenue of RM14 billion for the country in 2016, Low added, speaking at the recent International Rubber Glove Conference and Exhibition (IRGCE). • China’s natural rubber output experienced a 5.5% year-on-year drop to 794,200 tonnes in 2015. In addition to weather factors confining China’s natural rubber planting areas to a limited scope and the rubber price, more farmers have abandoned rubber production. In 2016, China’s output of natural rubber is expected to further decline by 5.3% to 752,100 tonnes. As the world’s largest consumer, China consumed 4.6 million tonnes of natural rubber in 2015, accounting for 38% of the global total. Since there is a serious imbalance between supply and demand, China mostly imports natural rubber to meet the
additional demand. The import volume rose 4.8% year-on-year to 2.7 million tonnes. From 20162020, the gap between supply and demand in China will further intensify; hitting about 5 million tonnes by 2020, an increase of 32% over 2015. • US firm Cooper Tire & Rubber Company says its scientists have reached a significant milestone towards its goal of developing a concept tyre made of guayulebased polymers instead of natural and synthetic rubber. Cooper has already completed a number of tyre builds and is testing each build for overall performance. The company is also working with the Agricultural Research Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA-ARS) that has completed an irrigation study on guayule for the potential raising of a massive crop in south western US. It found that drip irrigation offered the most benefits over other irrigation techniques when it comes to maximising yield and minimising water usage. ARS is also working with Cornell University to sequence the guayule genome that will lead to advance improvements in terms of yield, resistance to disease and pests, cold tolerance and other factors. • The US leads the way when it comes to global tyre imports, accounting for 18% share, followed by Germany (9%) and France (5%).
Overall US tyre imports amounted to US$15 billion in 2015, which was 2% less than the year before, according to a new report by Research and Markets, “US Tire Market – Analysis And Forecast to 2020. From 2007-2015, US tyre imports showed mixed dynamics, such as a significant drop in 2009, followed by robust growth over the next three years, until imports levelled off through to 2015. China was the main supplier of tyres into the US, with a 22% share in 2015, followed by Canada (11%), South Korea (10%), Japan (10%), and Thailand (8%).
• Over the next five years, Europe’s tyre market is expected to be propelled by the anticipated increase in the tyre production capacity, expanding automobile fleet and growing vehicle sales, according to TechSci Research’s report, “Europe Tire Market Forecast and Opportunities, 2021”. It is forecast to cross the US$49 billion mark by 2021. Other market growth drivers include crude oil price stabilisation, growing motorisation rate and implementation of favourable government policies. The region also continues to be the epicentre of all major global advancements when it comes to tyre technology, having more than 90 tyre manufacturing facilities, 16 R&D centres and 12 leading tyre manufacturers.
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Rubber Journal Asia Materials News Synthomer holds its ground, amidst challenges; positive note on glove market Emulsion polymers and nitrile latex manufacturer Synthomer, which has two plants in Malaysia, is expanding its business against the back of challenging times. Said Derick Whyte, Executive Vice-President of Synthomer in Asia, “With a growth of 8 to 10%, 2015 was a year with inspiring growth. We are expecting the momentum to build up this year.” In its half year results, ending June 2016, group revenue of the UK-headquartered firm was slightly down (1.8%) compared to the same period in 2015. However, Asia (and the rest of the world) stood out with a 19% increase in the operating profit, compared to 2015. But Whyte paints a cautious mood for the year. “We expect average unit margins in our nitriles business to soften as new nitrile production capacity is brought on line in the second half of the year, even though the ringgit has strengthened, resulting in similar volumes and average unit margins for the year as a whole, compared to 2015.” Against this cautious optimism, Whyte, who was speaking to RJA at the International Rubber Glove Conference and Exhibition (IRGCE), held in Kuala Lumpur recently, said the firm is in the final stages of a RM250 to RM300 million expansion to bring capacity up to 400,000 tonnes/ year. This is up from the 320,000 tonnes it currently produces, making it one of the leading suppliers of nitrile latex in the region. “We will have the capacity ready and look at adding it on as and when demand grows,” he said. Meanwhile, the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (Margma) is positive about the rubber glove industry’s growth in Malaysia. “It is essentially home grown and has charted impressive growth for the past 20 years. Global demand for rubber gloves is expected to rise by 10% from 192.9 billion gloves in 2015 to 212.2 billion gloves in 2016. Malaysia is expected to supply 63% of
this global demand,” said MARGMA President, Denis Low Jau Foo, at the launch of IRGCE. Pandemics that occur in the region usually pave the way for further growth of the glove sector, the most recent being the onset of the Zika virus, which is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito. Thus, all the above should hold Synthomer in good stead. Synthomer’s initial investment in the nitrile latex plant in Malaysia was made back in 2002 at the Kluang site in Johor. The initial investment of RM128 million for Phase 1 was followed by subsequent expansions in Phases 2 to 5 costing an additional RM130 million and bringing the nameplate capacity to approximately 120,000 tonnes. In 2011, Synthomer acquired Polymer Latex GmbH, and along with that came the Pasir Gudang NBR plant, which had been in operation since 2009. A range of additional investments have been made including the relocation of its NBR R&D and Innovation activities from Europe. “Along with further operational improvements, the acquisition and upgrading of two butadiene Spheres in Pasir Gudang port has brought Synthomer’s total investment in NBR in Malaysia to approximately RM900 million, with 320,000 tonnes of nameplate capacity,” explained Whyte. Synthomer is also able to offer benefits like a short supply chain. “We are able to offer responsive and fast delivery times, measured in days rather than weeks. Our customers here in Malaysia enjoy the benefits of having the world’s leading nitrile latex manufacturer in their domestic market, able to quickly react to our customers ever changing needs. Besides being close to our customers, a key element is the technical team for customers. In support of this customer focused culture we have a well-respected technical services team which is highly responsive to our customers’ operational challenges both in Malaysia, Southeast Asia and around the world,” said Whyte.
In terms of innovations, Synthomer has over the past three years launched the Gen 3 and Gen 4 products, which were developed to meet the needs Derick Whyte, EVP of of thinner Synthomer in Asia film, low glove weight medical examination gloves. “We have seen great success for these new materials with Gen 3 and 4 products now exceeding 80% of our total volume output here in Malaysia.” Meanwhile, Synthomer, which exports globally, is expecting the next wave of growth to come from developing countries. With the world population estimated at 7.4 billion, average usage of gloves is 29 pieces per person; and per capita consumption of gloves is 150 pieces in the US and Europe, compared to 6 in developing countries, according to recent information presented by the world’s largest glove manufacturer Top Glove. “Per capita consumption of gloves is still low in countries like China and India. We will be able to tap the growing demand in developing countries in the future,” said Whyte. “China has developed its PVC glove market but not its latex glove market. We expect it to increase in the future,” he added. Synthomer’s origins date back to a production site in Harlow, UK, constructed in 1952. Today, Synthomer is a FTSE 250-listed company headquartered in the UK with more than £1 billion sales. Following global expansion and strategic acquisitions, the company employs 2,750 people with manufacturing plants, technology centres and sales offices in Europe, Middle East, Asia and the US. In Asia, besides its plants in Malaysia, it also operates service centres in Thailand, Vietnam and China.
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Rubber Journal Asia Materials
Biorubber on a roll The high levels of carbon emissions are also perpetuated by land conversions. The East-West centre research suggests that when primary or secondary forests are converted to rubber, carbon emissions are likely to increase. Thus, encroaching forest reserves for commercial plantations not only results in deforestation, it also releases greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Forests are the largest terrestrial stores of carbon, according to Switzerland-headquartered conservation organisation World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Likewise, deforestation is the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions after fossil fuel burning, causing 15% of GHG emissions.
The lucrative demand for rubber is taking a toll on forest areas in Asia. But tyre and car makers are taking action by developing the rubber-yielding potentials of plants and renewable materials, says Angelica Buan in this report.
Tyres tread on sustainability lagging threats to biodiversity has resulted in industries to consider other plant-based rubber alternatives that can be cultivated locally. Two industries: tyres and automotive sectors are large consumers of rubber. Tyres represent 70% of world rubber consumption; and the growth of the automotive industry increases demand for tyres. An analysis from industry information provider IHS Markit credits the shift to radial tyres as a significant contributor to the rise in natural rubber consumption over the past three decades or so. Radial tyres use a higher percentage of natural rubber than bias-ply tyres. While natural rubber from para rubber trees remains a key ingredient in tyres, stakeholders are, however, adopting sustainable rubber initiatives in the supply chain. With a primary goal to promote sustainably produced rubber, the IRSG, via its Sustainable Natural Rubber Working Group, has drawn out sustainability standards. The group has created the Sustainable Natural Rubber Initiative (SNR-i), which has set guidelines and criteria for best practices that organisations can choose to adopt. Working along the same line, US tyre maker Bridgestone and speciality materials company Yulex have also ventured into projects to drive sustainable alternatives to rubber since 2013.
Land conversions add on to problems he global consumption for natural rubber is expected to reach 19.4 million tonnes by 2020, according to the Singapore-based International Rubber Study Group (IRSG). As the natural rubber demand continues to be a brisk business, the multiplication of rubber plantations has permeated forest reserves, which are the natural habitat of many species of flora and fauna and wildlife. This is especially prevalent in Southeast Asia, purportedly the cradle of rubber production, accounting for 97% of the worldâ€™s natural rubber supply and, thus, the risks to habitat displacement are continuously increasing. A 2014 report by the US-funded independent, non-profit organisation East-West Centre disclosed that more than 1 million ha of land has been converted to rubber plantations. By 2050, it projects that the area under rubber trees in the regions of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, as well as Chinaâ€™s Yunnan Province would increase fourfold. These land conversions have several environmental ramifications such as animal species being displaced. In a new study, Remotely Sensed Data Informs Red List Evaluations and Conservation Priorities in Southeast Asia, published recently, over 200 species of mammals, birds and amphibians have been newly identified as being at high risk in remote mountainous forests near India, Singapore and China. These are currently listed as threatened or endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Additionally, the study says that close to 40% of the species have less than 10% of their habitats protected from future development or deforestation. The displacement is also spurred by the conversion of some forest land into rubber and palm oil plantations in Southeast Asia.
Tapping other sources for rubber n the quest for other plant sources of rubber, the dandelion and guayule plants stand out. Taraxacum kok-saghyz, also known as Russian dandelion, has fortunately a distinct edge as an alternative source. Unlike the para rubber tree, which can only be tapped for latex once it reaches about seven years of age, dandelions have the advantage of growing annually.
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Rubber Journal Asia Tyre Market Materials maker Ford has been working with two Arizonabased guayule producers, Yulex and PanAridus, for its biorubber-based parts. Moreover, Ford has collaborated with the OSU, the Ohio Agricultural Research & Development Centre (OARDC) and industrial members to develop sustainable materials to replace traditional rubber. At the same time, it is continuing its research collaboration with the United Soybean Board (USB) on the use of soybean oil for automotive rubber applications. Soy-based rubber parts such as radiator deflector shields, air baffles, cup-holder inserts and floor mats are under consideration for future Ford vehicle programmes, says the car maker, which is also a member of OSU’s Programme of Excellence in Natural Rubber Alternatives (PENRA). PENRA was created “to integrate and accelerate the incubation, demonstration, market entry, and growth of a domestic natural rubber industry”. It focuses on the creation of the science and technology and the private partnerships needed to support the introduction and scale-up of natural rubber alternatives.
Researchers from Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME have established the basis for the large-scale production of high quality rubber with Russian dandelion
Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME have established the basis for the large-scale production of high quality rubber with Russian dandelion. They are also able to achieve this without genetic modification. The roots of the Russian dandelion, also known as Buckeye Gold, contain 10-15% natural rubber. A researcher at the Ohio State University (OSU), studying the dandelion variety says that one of the goals is to develop it into an industrial rubber crop. Plus, growing the crop locally can reduce transportation costs. Germany-headquartered Continental Tire, working with Fraunhofer, Julius Kuehn-Institute and EKUSA, has produced and tested the first tyres with tread that is made 100% from dandelion rubber. The company plans to begin manufacturing dandelion-derived rubber consumer road tyres in five to 10 years, it says. The flowering shrub, guayule (Parthenium argentatum), has also been found to be a viable biorubber source. Tyre makers Cooper Tire, Pirelli, and Bridgestone have trialled the use of guayule in prototype tyres. Michigan-headquartered automotive
Way forward with synthetic biorubbers taly’s elastomers producer Versalis (Eni), and Genomatica, a US bioengineering solutions firm, have successfully advanced to pilot-scale production of bio-butadiene (bio-BDE) from fully renewable feedstock. The bio-BDE is used to make bio-polybutadiene (bio-BR). Butadiene is one of the most widely used chemicals in the world, with a production of 10 million tonnes/year. According to the partners, the success of this innovative undertaking results from a newlydeveloped process for the on-purpose production of butadiene that uses various types of sugars as feedstock, rather than the traditional use of hydrocarbon feedstocks. The project started with the establishment of a technology joint venture between Versalis, holding a majority stake, and Genomatica in early 2013. The joint venture has developed a complete process to make bio-BDE and plans to license the resulting technology. Versalis and Genomatica determined that 1,3-butanediol (1,3-BDO) was the most suitable intermediate to produce bio-BDE. Genomatica applied its ‘whole-process’ systems approach to bioengineering to develop a microorganism that produces 1,3-BDO in a way that enables costefficient, scalable fermentation and subsequent process operations. Versalis leverages its industrial process engineering and catalysis capabilities, as well as expertise in overall polymer production, to purify the 1,3-BDO, dehydrate it and then purify the resulting butadiene. Versalis has produced
Continental Tire has produced and tested the first tyres with tread that is made 100% from dandelion rubber
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Rubber Journal Asia Materials The biohydrin rubber is jointly developed with Japanese chemicals manufacturer Zeon Corporation, and another Japanese company that produces rubber and synthetic resin, Sumitomo Riko. It is manufactured using plant-derived bio-materials instead of epichlorohydrin, a commonly-used epoxy compound. Since plants absorb CO2 from the atmosphere during their lifespan, such biomaterials achieve an estimated 20% reduction in material lifecycle carbon emissions (in comparison to conventional petroleum-based hydrin rubber), explained Toyota. The first vehicles to use vacuum sensing hose made from biohydrin rubber were produced in May, with usage expected to be rolled out to all Toyota automobiles manufactured in Japan by the end of this year. Engine and drive system hoses require a particularly high level of oil and heat resistance. Since epichlorohydrin offers exceptional oil resistance, heat resistance, heat ageing resistance, ozone resistance, and gas permeability, it is currently commonly used as a key compound in the production of rubber for components such as hoses. Production of biohydrin rubber uses a variety of compound technologies for bonding plant-derived materials with petroleum-derived materials at the molecular level. These technologies ensure that biohydrin rubber provides the levels of oil resistance, heat resistance, and durability required for vacuum sensing hoses in engines and drive systems. Additionally, biohydrin rubber is similar to conventional petroleum-based hydrin rubber in terms of quality and mass production, enabling large-scale use in commercial vehicles. Toyota says that it plans to expand the usage of biohydrin to other highperformance rubber components, such as brake hoses and fuel line hoses. The companyâ€™s impetus towards developing biorubber is part of the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, its roadmap for contributing to global environmental sustainability.
Versalis and Genomatica jointly produce bio-BDE from renewable feedstock, 1,3-BDO
several kg of butadiene from 1,3-BDO made in 200 l fermenters at its research centres at Novara and Mantova in Italy, and then made bio-polybutadiene, at the Ravenna R&D centre, using both anionic and Ziegler-Natta catalysis. Initial testing of the bio-BDE and bio-BR demonstrates good compatibility with industry standards, the companies explained. Versalis is continuing to test the bio-BDE within its other proprietary rubber and plastics downstream technologies such as SBR (styrene butadiene rubber), SBS (styrene butadiene styrene rubber) and ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene). Other automotive makers getting on the bandwagon eanwhile, Japanese automotive manufacturer, Toyota, has also embarked on biobased rubber alternatives to reduce its carbon footprint across its vehicle line, having endorsed a commitment to sustainable rubber by becoming the first car manufacturer to sign a partnership agreement with WWF. In May this year, Toyota has claimed its locus as the worldâ€™s first automotive maker to use biohydrin, a newly-developed biosynthetic rubber product, in the engine and drive system hoses.
Biohydrin rubber (polymer)
Vacuum sensing hoses
Toyota is pioneering the use of biohydrin, a newly-developed biosynthetic rubber product, in engine and drive system hose
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